Sorry, Brother, Sisters Are Good for You

Researchers say female siblings encourage communication while brothers clam up
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2009 7:24 AM CDT
Psychologists say the 'sister effect' could help explain how the Williams sisters have successfully dealt with the upheaval and pressure of their tennis careers.   (AP Photo/Rick Stevens, File)
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(Newser) – It's not quite "girls rule, boys drool," but it's close. A new study says growing up with a sister turns people into happier and better-balanced adults. University of Ulster researchers studied hundreds of families and found that female siblings encouraged healthy communication and family cohesion, while brothers tended to have the opposite effect, the Times of London reports.

"One of the most interesting findings was the impact of female siblings when parents split up,” a researcher said. “It seems their natural inclination was to express themselves, talk about the separation, and encourage other family members to do so as well. It seems to help keep family relationships going. There was markedly less distress in broken homes with a sister."