4 Hidden Health Benefits Of Having A Sibling

brothers posing for camera

With the growing (and more expensive) demands of having more than one child in this generation, you may be one of the many parents who have decided to go the easy route and stick with just one. But with these four research-proven health benefits of having a sibling, you may just change your mind! After all, it’s for your children.

Having siblings…

1. …gives kids a higher IQ

In the journal Science, a study proved that first-borns who have siblings have higher IQ. How high? After testing for the IQs of 18 or 19-year-old first-born boys and their younger siblings as they reached the same age, the study showed that the IQs were close to three points higher compared to children who didn’t have any siblings. Interestingly, another similar study showed that the wider the gap between siblings makes the older child want to become more successful.

2 …prevents kids from being obese.

When an older sibling reaches the age of 2 to 4, his or her risk for being obese is lowered. According to a study published in the Pediatrics journal, older kids were found to have a healthier body mass index (BMI). In contrast, same-age solo kids were found to be three times more likely to be obese during their elementary years. Another research also showed that siblings, families and friends can help anyone stay healthier and more active.

3. …boosts mental health.

In a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, an older sister makes younger siblings aged 10-14 feel less lonely, guilty, self-conscious and fearful. Because sisters end up being protective of each other, they end up adapting more charitable attitudes from each other than from their parents. In another study, sibling support was also shown to be associated with a reduced risk for developing depression with higher self-esteem and life satisfaction.

4. …longer life.

As told in the published journal PLoS Medicine, a research found that strong ties with siblings can help them live longer. Then again, it’s not exactly rocket science considering close family and friends are key in encouraging and inspiring a person to make better choices and take better care of our health. In the same sense, we’d want to live longer for them. Only children who lack social skills have been found to be 50% more likely to die about 7.5 years earlier. Another Swedish study also notes that maintaining a strong connection with siblings well into adulthood is linked to good overall health and happiness.

 

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