The More Siblings You Have, the Less Likely You Are to Get Divorced

Illustration for article titled The More Siblings You Have, the Less Likely You Are to Get Divorced

Coming from a large family could be beneficial to your marriage. Each additional sibling a person has lowers the risk of divorce by two percent, according to a new study whose authors clearly don't watch E!.


The study—conducted by researchers at Ohio State University—analyzed data collected from about 57,000 people in the United States between 1972 and 2012 and found a link between having more siblings (up to seven) and lower odds of divorce. Having more than seven siblings didn't seem to be more beneficial for those odds, but it didn't hurt either.

However, researchers didn't examine why having more siblings reduces the likelihood of divorce, but one of the study's co-authors, Doug Downey, thinks it might have something to do with the conflict resolution skills that are learned in a larger family.

Growing up in a family with siblings, you develop a set of skills for negotiating both negative and positive interactions…You have to consider other people's points of view and learn how to talk through problems. The more siblings you have, the more opportunities you have to practice those skills. That can be a good foundation for adult relationships, including marriage.

Having More Siblings Might Lower Your Divorce Risk [U.S. News]



Or, you just get used to living with other people's nonsense and develop a higher tolerance. This is NOT the same thing as improved communication and conflict resolution skills; it's really just growing much thicker calluses. I'm from a big family, have a big family, and am married for more than a decade - so I'm not anti lots of siblings nor anti lifelong marriage - but getting more inured to crap is not an unqualified blessing.