Parents spend a lot of time dealing with arguing and other nastiness between siblings. But having siblings can save teenagers from negative emotions, and encourage them to be more kind and generous.
“As a parent, it’s really good to know that sibling affection is related quite strongly to helping, generosity, kindness,” says Laura Padilla-Walker, a professor at Brigham Young University who studies the effects of sibling relationships. “We often don’t see them [as] a protective factor.”
Padilla-Walker studied 395 families that had at least one child between the ages of 10 and 14, interviewing family members twice, one year apart. The study, which was published in the August issue of the Journal of Family Psychology, found that having an affectionate teenage sibling helped younger teens avoid feelings of loneliness, guilt, and self-consciousness. [Read more…]