For generations, siblings have had the potential to be mortal enemies. They have fought over toys, teased each other and blamed each other for things that go wrong in the house. They can also be the best of friends, protecting each other from harm, being confidants and helpful critics.

These observations are interesting (and appropriate) considering a new study by Ohio State University researchers. The found that people with siblings are less likely to divorce than those who do not have them. In fact, the more brothers and sisters a person has, the possibility of divorce is reduced.

Essentially, researchers found that each addition changes each family’s dynamics and relationships. Moreover, with more children in a family, kids have more opportunities to learn how to deal with different personalities, solve problems and experience some of the ups and downs that people in marriages experience.

Researchers analyzed data collected from more than 50,000 people between 1972 and 2012. They also considered factors such as religious affiliation, age, race and socioeconomic status to refine their findings. Not only do they believe that the study will show that siblings have some value (even though some siblings would disagree), it could have a telling effect on marriage and divorce rates in the future. 

With the trend of couples having smaller families, the possibility of fewer people marrying (or staying in marriage) could be reduced if kids tend to lose the experiences gained by being part of a large family. It is an interesting notion and time will tell.

Source: Dispatch.com, Divorce risk lower if you have siblings, August 13, 2013