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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?

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  • kayakgirl By kayakgirl
    08.15.10  

    I definitely agree with this study, my sister and I are three years apart (both of us in our 50's) and we've always had a strained relationship up until about 4 years ago. Now we are very close, appreciate each other's differences and enjoy our time together.

  • 1honeyjean By 1honeyjean
    08.25.10  

    Growing up, my little sister and I fought constantly. Now that we are adults, we are inseperable. She truely is my best friend. I kinow that she will always be there for me and vice versa. We've helped each other through some pretty tough times. I don't know what I would do without my sister.

  • redshoesnob42 By redshoesnob42
    08.27.10  

    I don't have a sister and sometimes I am soooo glad! I watch two of my female cousins that are siblings go at it all the time. One is the baby of the family, the other the middle child and they seem to resent each others presence on the planet! I have a younger brother and could not imagine my life without him. Our gender difference I feel makes us closer. We can talk about any and everything, and do. We travel together, consult each other about child rearing, spouses, politics, cook together. Its great! It's like having a sister that can give you a mans take on things. Plus, no one better dare bother his sis! BTW, he is not gay.

  • kellenmom By kellenmom
    09.06.10  

    don't have a sister but really wish that I did.

  • musicmomma By musicmomma
    11.02.10  

    My mom died 10 years ago and besides my dad...my sister is really the only family I had a relationship with now. Unfortunately, my sister broke up our relationship over the summer because of something said between our husbands. I have felt so alone for months now. We used to speak every day on the phone. I have a void in my life that can't be explained. I miss my sister and hope our relationship can go back to they way it used to be.....

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