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Study finds that people with many siblings divorce less

Study finds that people with many siblings divorce less

Date: August 22, 2013
In: Divorce

In a diverse city like Chicago, one is bound to come across families of all shapes and sizes. However, some family setups may be potentially conducive to lasting marriages later on. A study performed by the Ohio State University found that people who grow up with more than two siblings are more likely to stay married than people who grow up as only children or with only one or two siblings.

The researchers looked at 57,000 people and surveyed them at nearly 30 points between 1972 and 2012, and found that only 4 percent had grown up without any siblings. They found that of the 80 percent who were married at some point, only 36 percent had experienced a divorce. The researchers found that with each additional sibling a person had, the rate of divorce went down by 2 percent.

The reason for the correlation between more siblings and a lower divorce rate is not clear, however, growing up with more siblings may make a person less likely to want to be alone and more skilled at dealing with adverse situations and relationship complications. The researchers did not provide an explanation for the correlation, but it is likely that people who grew up with a large number of siblings have social and emotional skills that those with few or no siblings do not have, and these may provide help in maintaining a marriage through difficult times.

The end of a marriage, whether it occurs in Chicago or elsewhere, can be an emotionally draining experience for all. There are many potentially traumatic processes that the spouses must go through, such as child custody and visitation, property division and alimony. All aspects of a divorce can contain highly-charged emotions.

Fortunately for all spouses, they have the option to work out payment plans for alimony and child support, as well as plans for child visitation and custody. These may be difficult steps, but they will make their divorce legal issues less acrimonious and more amicable.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Growing up with more than two siblings lowers your divorce risk,” Melissa Healy, Aug. 13, 2013.

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