The Bonds Between Siblings Help When Parents Argue

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Strong bonds between siblings can help offset the negative effects of unhealthy, destructive parental relationships, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester in New York, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and published in Child Development.

This study involved 236 adolescents and their families – primarily white and middle class – from a moderately-sized city in the Northeastern United States and a small city in the Midwest. The researchers observed the families for three years, when the children were 12, 13, and 14 years old. They used observations, surveys, and interviews with the mothers about the relationships between closest-aged siblings.

According to the researchers, good sibling relationships – characterized by closeness, warmth, and problem solving, and low levels of antagonism, conflict, and detachment – reduced the children’s vulnerability to stress and tension between their parents.

Sourced from: Child Development