Medicine

‘Sisters good for soul’

A sister prevents depression more than a brother because girls are better at talking about problems and are more likely to take on a caring role, say scientists. File photo  

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life -- so says an adage. Now, scientists too say that sisters are good for you.

A new study has found that growing up with at least one girl protects against feeling “lonely, unloved, guilty, self—conscious and fearful” —— in fact, affectionate siblings of either sex have positive influences no matter their age, gender or how many years they are apart.

However, a sister prevents depression more than a brother because girls are better at talking about problems and are more likely to take on a caring role, say the scientists.

The study of 400 families also established that sibling affection is a bigger influence than parenting, the Daily Express reported.

Lead scientist Laura Padilla—Walker of Brigham Young University was quoted as saying, “Siblings matter more than parents in terms of promoting being kind to others and being generous.

“For parents of younger kids, the message is to encourage sibling affection. Once they get to adolescence, it is going to be a big protective factor.”

The study found hostility between brothers and sisters was linked to a greater risk of delinquency —— and a tendency to be aggressive in other relationships.

Co—researcher Professor James Harper said: “I would try to eliminate hostile name calling. Siblings have a unique power over each other, yet we haven’t really considered their influence.”


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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 6:05:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/medicine-and-research/lsquoSisters-good-for-soulrsquo/article16119142.ece

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