Having A Sister Makes You Happier And More Optimistic, Study Finds


Having A Sister Makes You Happier And More Optimistic, Study FindsWarner Bros. Pictures/kendallandkylie/Instgram

Growing up, most of us would probably describe our siblings as annoying as hell, but there’s something heartwarming about growing up with someone who shares the same experiences as you, and who will undoubtedly have your back.

And, while we love our brothers and sisters equally, new research has found that people who grew up with a sister are more likely to be happier than those who didn’t.


More than 570 people aged between 17 and 25 took part in a study by researchers from Leicester’s De Montfort University and Ulster University in Northern Ireland, where they were asked psychological questions about a number of different topics, including mental health.

Having A Sister Makes You Happier And More Optimistic, Study FindsPA Images

The research showed that participants who grew up with sisters were encouraged to communicate openly about their feelings, which in turn gave them a more positive outlook on life.

As per the Mirror, Professor Tony Cassidy, who carried out the study, said:


Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families.

However, brothers seem to have the alternative effect.

Emotional expression is fundamental to good psychological health and having sisters promotes this in families.

It could be that boys have a natural tendency not to talk about things.

With boys together it is about a conspiracy of silence not to talk. Girls tend to break that down.

PA Images

Cassidy went on to say that this sister support could have been especially beneficial for those who come from families where the parents had split up.

He said:


I think these findings could be used by people offering support to families and children during distressing times. We may have to think carefully about the way we deal with families with lots of boys.

The research supports a similar study that took place back in 2010, when researchers from Brigham Young University in Utah looked into the effects of having a sibling.

Having A Sister Makes You Happier And More Optimistic, Study FindsPA Images

This particular study consisted of just 395 families, all of whom had more than one child, and it concluded that having a sister makes you a kinder person. However, the research also stressed that brothers bring benefits too, as long as it’s a loving relationship.


Speaking at the time, Researcher Laura Padilla-Walker told ABC News:

Sibling affection from either gender was related to less delinquency and more pro-social behaviours like greater kindness and generosity, volunteering and helping others.

To my brother, if you’re reading this: you’re welcome.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: Life, family, Psychology


Mirror and 1 other
  1. Mirror

    Having a sister makes you happier and more optimistic, study finds

  2. ABC News

    Why Having a Sister Makes You a Kinder Person

Emma Rosemurgey
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