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Could having more siblings make divorce less likely?

There are many theories about what might make people more or less prone to divorce. Many studies have examined the upbringing of children and how that might affect their relationships later in life. One study that has looked at a 40-year window has concluded that people who have more siblings are less likely to see their marriages end in divorce.

The authors of the study were even able to put a numerical value on this phenomenon. They found that for each sibling a person has -- between roughly three and six siblings -- there is a reduction in the likelihood of divorce by about 2 percent. The researchers think that people in large families are better able to learn social skills by virtue of having to constantly interact with peers.

Not surprisingly, there are plenty of experts who say the findings aren't convincing them. They say it would take multiple studies showing similar results before people could take a whole lot of stock in them. So it wouldn't be prudent, for example, for people to have more children than they might have planned on just so their kids can avoid getting divorced in the following decades.

Another counterargument to this study is that nearly all children spend time in school, which is the ultimate peer interaction group. Even kids who don't have any siblings have to get along with dozens of other kids once they are in school.

Regardless of a person's upbringing, divorce remains a very real possibility for many people. When people are considering a divorce, they may wish to consult with an experienced divorce attorney.

Source: USA Today, "Growing up with more siblings could reduce divorce risk?" Sharon Jayson, Aug. 13, 2013

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