(NEW YORK) -- Having many brothers and sisters may help you sustain a marriage, according to a new study from Ohio State University. "Each sibling that you had reduced the likelihood of divorce by 2 percent," says Doug Downey, a professor of sociology at the university. And the correlation continues until after about a dozen siblings. "With each additional sibling -- up to about seven or eight -- you're improving your chances of staying married a little bit," he says.
While the study does not explain why this is the case, Downey says that it probably has something to do with building skills useful for maintaining a relationship. "There may be something about sibling interactions during childhood that facilitate relationship skills that are useful for building and maintaining a marital relationship," he notes. Downey adds that those interactions do not have to be positive to have an impact. "Even conflict with siblings could provide experiences that are useful in terms of conflict resolution that come in handy later for resolving marital disputes," he says.
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