The more siblings you have, the less likely you are to get divorced when you grow up, suggests a study presented Tuesday at a major convention of American sociologists.
Doug Downey of Ohio State University said that, in terms of divorce, having no siblings or just one or two doesn't make much of a practical difference.
"But when you compare children from large families to those with only one child, there is a meaningful gap in the probability of divorce," he said.
Using data from the General Social Survey, Downey and his fellow researchers calculated that the likelihood of divorce in adulthood drops 2 percent with each additional brother or sister a person has.
"The real story appears to be how family dynamics change incrementally with the addition of each sibling," said Donna Bobbitt-Zeher, a co-author of the study.
"Having more siblings means more experience dealing with others -- and that seems to provide additional help in dealing with a marriage relationship as an adult."
The General Social Survey, a trove of raw sociological data, comprises interviews with 57,000 adults across the United States by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
Downey and Bobbitt-Zeher presented their findings at the 108th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association that concludes Tuesday in New York.