Are People with More Siblings Less Likely to Divorce?

siblings and relationshipsWhen you’re on a date and getting to know someone for the first time, there are many topics discussed — where you’re from, what you do for a living, what your hobbies are, what your family is like, along with the many specific dating questions you may have. But what you may not know is that the size of a person’s family can be an indicator and an influence on your future relationship as well (meaning: add this question to the list!)

Recent research has shown that the more siblings a person has, the less likely they are to have a divorce as an adult. And the difference wasn’t just if you had siblings or not, but for every sibling a person had, the likelihood of divorce decreased by about two percent.

Why? Simply put, the researchers believe that having more siblings around as a child helps a person build social skills and experience dealing with positive and negative interactions. Siblings are a permanent part of your environment as a child, so a person with many siblings will have more opportunities to deal with other people’s points of view and will likely know how to solve disagreements better.

The researchers base this explanation on previous studies, which had kindergarten teachers rate their student’s social skills and found children with siblings were better at making friends and handled social environments better.

Being part of a large family growing up can have its ups and downs. I should know, I have three brothers (!). But in the end, having more siblings isn’t going to be a make or break situation for a person’s likelihood of divorce. It can, however, give you some great insight into your date.

Having more siblings means they likely had more chances to deal with the numerous fights and arguments that come with having brothers and sisters, and how to best resolve them. This ability and experience carries over to their way of maintaining their adult relationships. So the next time you’re on a date, make sure to ask about how many siblings your date has and what their relationships were like growing up. It could give you a peek into how well they can resolve your future misunderstandings.

What do you think about this research? When you think of those you know who come from large families — do they have better social skills than those who were only children?

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