Research suggests that the more brothers and sisters a person has, the less likely they are to go through a divorce.

Based on data encompassing over 57,000 adults between 1972 and 2012, researchers found that each additional sibling a person has (up to seven) decreased their likelihood of divorce by two percent.

“There are a lot of other factors that affect divorce that are more important than how many siblings you had. However, we’re finding that the number of siblings is a factor,” said Doug Downey, co-author of the study. “Each additional sibling reduces their chances of divorce a little bit.”

Many Reasons

Downey and colleagues believe there are a few reasons why growing up with more siblings may better prepare a person for married life. He suggests that siblings help further the development of social skills useful in navigating marriage, such as:

  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Equality
  • Less likely to become overwhelmed

Despite the interesting findings, other researchers don’t put a lot of stock in the study. They believe children in today’s society have more chances for interaction than they did fifty years ago.

“We’re not in the 1950s, where (an only child) might live in a household and mom might stay home and you’d interact all day with an adult. No kids do that anymore,” said sociologist S. Philip Morgan. “There are lots of opportunities to gain interpersonal skills.”

Attorney Commentary

Learning the above skills at an early age may reduce the likelihood that a person will go through a divorce, but those skills are also important if you decide your marriage isn’t working.

Couples that are divorcing typically are able to navigate through the process quicker and more amicably if they are able to maintain some positive or at least civil communications throughout the process. If couples are able to discuss the issues at hand such as custody, parenting time, and property/debt division, sometimes they are able to reach an agreement on their own and then their attorney’s job is to memorialize the agreement and advise their clients on the ramifications of the agreement.