Having a sister helps you become a better person, research says

Having a sister helps you become a better person, research says

When you have a sibling in your life, it's often easy to become a bit resentful of them. Maybe you feel that the majority of your parents' attention goes to them and not to you.

Perhaps you worry that you'll never be able to live up to the high standards that they've set. Or, you might even be frustrated by their underachieving and lack of motivation.

However, you might be surprised to find out that having a sibling bears measurable, verifiable advantages. In fact, prior research claims that being blessed with a sister or sisters can help you become a better person; teaching you about conflict-resolution, empathy and how to nurture others from an early age.

Check out this amazing footage of two identical twins talking about their simultaneous pregnancies: 

Researchers from Brigham Young University analysed data on 395 families with more than one child, gathering a wealth of information about each family’s dynamic.

They then waited a year, and then followed up on their findings. Statistical analysis determined that kids of either gender who had a sister were overall better protected from feeling lonely, unloved, guilty, self-conscious and fearful.

Not only that, but it didn’t seem to matter whether or not the sister/sisters in question were younger, older, or had a large age gap between them. The positive benefits were the same.

Commenting on the study's findings, author Alex Jensen stated:

"[Sisters] help you develop social skills, like communication, compromise and negotiation. Even sibling conflict, if it is minor, can promote healthy development ... What we know suggests that sisters play a role in promoting positive mental health, and later in life, they often do more to keep families in contact with one another after the parents pass."

A pair of siblings. Credit: Getty

Jensen added: "Some research suggests that having a sibling who is a different gender from you can be a real benefit in adolescence. Many of those sibling pairs become closer during the teen years because they become good sources of information about the opposite sex."

This is the hilarious moment one mom found her son shaving his sister's head:

Meanwhile, co-author Professor Laura Padilla-Walker stated: "Even after you account for parents’ influence, siblings do matter in unique ways. They give kids something that parents don’t. For parents of younger kids, the message is to encourage sibling affection. Once they get to adolescence, it’s going to be a big protective factor."

So there you have it: maybe your sister has done more good for you than you thought? If not, then just bear in mind that we probably need to conduct more research on this topic, before we can prove it conclusively.