I have a sister and I appear to be luckier than I already knew. A study at Brigham Young University appears to show that men with sisters – either younger or older – are happier than those without them. Sisters seem to help their brothers with feelings of loneliness, fear and guilt. Researchers think this is because men are more likely to talk with their sisters than their brothers, and that this talking – no matter what the topic of the chat is, or the depth of the conversation – keeps men from feeling depressed or isolated. Even more interesting is that even brother-sister sibling squabbling has a pay-off compared to no contact at all, as long as the relationship is generally affectionate and positive. Researchers think that quarrels like this show men how to handle emotion and disagreement.
The good news for those of you without sisters, whether you are a man or a woman, is that all siblings with close bonds can have a positive impact on one another, sometimes even more so than parents. So, stay in touch with your kinfolk – they really can be very good for you.