There is no doubt that a whole range of factors, pressures and influences can play their part in marriage difficulties.

However, there now appears to be yet another potentially influencing factor: the number of siblings a person grows up with. Ohio State University studied data from 57,061 adults in America, collected between 1972 and 2012.  The data showed that for each additional sibling a person had, they were 2% less likely to divorce. This continued all the way up to seven siblings before there was no further effect.

At first glance, this type of research might well be considered to be interesting but perhaps not very useful.  However, the researchers are keen to point out the interpretation of their research, which is that children who grow up more accustomed to negotiating both positive and negative situations may, statistically, be less likely to divorce when they are adults. The generalisation being that children of large families are required to more frequently negotiate their position and resolve disputes, which in turn helps them in marriage. The researchers do go on to say that there are now, more so than ever, a wide range of ways in which children can interact and those social skills can be gained through various means and for any size of family.

Clearly, a 2% difference per sibling is not something to put too much weight behind.  However, for those who are already divorced, there may be no harm in asking any future partners how many brothers and sisters they have.

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