SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

Another Reason To Show Some Sister Love

Another Reason To Show Some Sister Love

After hearing news about a recent study out regarding the benefits of having siblings, you may want to call up your sister to thank her.  It was found that having a sister can decrease symptoms of depression and lessen the feeling of loneliness throughout your life.  The study, coming from Brigham Young University, shows that the sister to sister relationship has the best outcomes, but the sister to brother relationship also has many positive aspects as well.

What makes sisters so special?  A recent report from CBS News discusses the findings from the sister study.  Child psychologist, Dr. Jennifer Hartstein, explains the reasons why a sister can lead to better mental health outcomes for her siblings.  Hartstein says, “Girls tend to be a much more social, interactive kind of role in a different way than a brother would.  So, it’s really also sister to sister.  That’s important to think about, is sisters are learning from their older sisters or younger sisters, how to be caring, how to look out for, how to watch out for emotional needs of one another.”

Even if the relationship you have with your sister is steeped in competition, researchers say this can be healthy too. Competition with a sister can help you later in life when you navigate through this type of conflict in the work place.  Jealousy can often enter into a sister relationship with one sister being more “famous” than the other, but the sister bond often wins out even through this type of conflict.  

Hartstein advises parents to encourage a deeper bond between their children by engaging them in activities they can do together.  The more siblings work together the more they will communicate. And even though this will sometimes lead to arguments, Hartstein says that as long as they talk it out later their bond will only grow stronger in the future.

What do you think of the recent study showing that sisters make siblings happier?

If you have a sister, do you feel you have benefited from this relationship?

Make a Comment

Comment  *
 
 
  • dellie71 By dellie71
    08.06.10  

    As children, my (older) sister and I fought like cats and dogs. It wasn't until we both were married and had children that we really became close. Now, we both enjoy a very open, caring and accepting relationship with each other. As a matter of fact, we just returned from vacation where both of our families spent a week together at the beach! My sister and I know, that no matter what, we will be there for each other. I am truly thankful for my relationship with my sister. Oh BTW--we were both adopted at birth and have no genetic link whatsoever!

  • flower54 By flower54
    08.07.10  

    I have an older sister, we always got along. I've moved, so we're not in the same area any more. But we talk to each other at 3 times a week. Our conversations are as if we were sitting & chatting over coffee. We are best friends can tell each other anything, talk about any problems or feelings, without judgement. It's all unconditional love. Have a sister is a huge benefit for me!!

  • 2carrie2 By 2carrie2
    08.07.10  

    I have both older sisters and younger sisters and no matter what, they are always there for me when I need someone to talk to. My siblings are spread out through the world and no matter what we are there for each other.

  • Brindamorr By Brindamorr
    08.08.10  

    I have to agree. I love all of my siblings so much, but my sister and I are each others pillars.

  • tjaksv By tjaksv
    08.08.10  

    I have an older sister and 5 younger ones ... as an adult I love having sisters and knowing we are there for each other no matter what... it sometimes makes me sad to think that my daughter will not be having a sister to grow up with.. because all us sisters are so close our kids are basically siblings and behave as such (my 3 year old niece tells everyone she has a brother & sister.. she is referring to my kids). I do try to foster a good relationship between my two children.. they really do care and look out for each other.

  • MadHatter By MadHatter
    08.09.10  

    i have to disagree, i have an older sister and we can't get along what so ever. I do not know what happened, we used to be close when we were young, but as she got older, the more her attitude turned sour. I mean she has always been bossy and demanding and if she doesn't get her way, she will not talk to you for MONTHS. everyone in the family gets along fine, except for her. We all agree that she is a lost cause. spoiled beyond fixing. I don't believe we would ever have a relationship as close as we had back then and its sad to know.

  • rbp1952 By rbp1952
    08.09.10  

    I have a younger sister and we are so close that at times, we are like one person. We disagree on many issues, but we are always there for each other. I am an 8-year breast cancer survivor and my sister supported me every step of the way through treatment. She went to chemo every week with me and then took care of me after surgery 8 years ago. Two years ago I was hospitalized for 75 days and then home 6 months recovering. Once again, my sister was there every day to take care of me. I try to help her in every way that I can, but I feel that I usually fall short. I give her emotional support and she gives me physical support. She says I am her rock, but she is my mountain!

  • girl17 By girl17
    08.09.10  

    I love having a sister and am so glad I have 2 daughters!

  • msfriendly By msfriendly
    08.09.10  

    My sister and I are 7 years apart. We were never that close growing up. We are closer now, but I still wouldn't say we have a great relationship. I think part of it was that she never had kids and I did and she just didn't have "time" to relate to me or my family because she is living a different kind of life than I am.

  • jameslicex0 By jameslicex0
    08.10.10  

    I can really appreciate this study. My sister and I are about 22 months apart, we haven't always fought, but we don't have a great relationship either. I appreciate having my sister around and I know she looks up to me, which is special. Even though we disagree, we are our own persons and I can value her opinions and appreciate her insight.

More stories like this