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Siblings good for marriage, says Ohio State research study

There are a lot of factors that can cause a couple to grow apart and seek to dissolve their marriage. It might be medical issues, unemployment or even disagreements over household chores that can wear on a relationship.

While even extended family is often a source of tension, a recent Ohio State University research study said that having siblings when you are young isn’t one of those factors that increases the likelihood of divorce later in life.

The research data collected from 1972 through 2012 showed that those who had siblings as kids were less likely to get divorced later in life. In fact, it was not just having siblings at all, but with the addition of each sibling, the divorce rate went down by 2 percent. At seven siblings, there seemed to be no continued decrease.

The OSU students also examined 20,000 kindergartners in order to judge their social interactions -- a part of their theory as to why individuals with siblings were less likely to get divorced. According to the authors of the study, the social skills developed through a sibling relationship help in relationships down the road.

While this research study has some definite conclusions, it is only a theory of correlation. There could be many other factors that played into the decision to get a divorce, and the conclusions drawn from this study have not been replicated -- something that is required for acceptance in the scientific community.

As for the family law community, it isn’t what caused the couple to seek divorce. Although this study may be interesting, when a potential client walks through the doors of a divorce attorney’s office, it is the future that they are concerned about -- not whether having two siblings or three played a role.

Source: The Lantern, “Ohio State research: Siblings decrease likelihood of divorce,” Brooke Sayre, Aug. 30, 2013

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