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Study correlating siblings and divorce needs to be repeated

A new study that was presented at the American Sociological Association earlier this week may have peaked Faulkner County residents' interests: people with more siblings are less likely to get a divorce. Although the study indicates that each additional sibling could reduce the likelihood of divorce by 2 percent, other reserachers are hesitatnt to believe the data to be definitive. Others have called for researchers to duplicate the study and their results.

The belief is that additional siblings will give individuals greater social skills, which will supposedly help them to avoid complex family law problems like divorce. The problem is, however, that social skills alone will not save all marriages and many divorces are not caused by a lack of communication. There are just some marriages that will not work out.

Data was collected from more than 57,000 people between 1972 and 2012. During that time frame, however, things have changed quite a bit. Maybe only children in the 1970s and 1980s had less of a chance to interact with other children and develop social skills, but one author believes that only children today have no problem developing social skills in school.

The study itself is interesting, but it sheds little light on why some marriages work and some do not. It makes sense that researchers continue to look into the causes of both good and bad marriages, what with the ever-increasing divorce rate in Arkansas, but this study may not do much to better understand whether someone will eventually get a divorce.

Source: USA Today, "Growing up with more siblings could reduce divorce risk," Sharon Jayson, Aug. 13, 2013

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