Siblings, class have impact on marriage, studies show

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All that fighting and being told to share toys with siblings may make for healthier marrages down the road, according to a new Ohio State University study showing that the more siblings you have, the less likely you are to divorce.

"We found that if you had a sibling, for each additional sibling your divorce rate decreased by two percent," said Douglas Downey, co-author of the study, in an interview with CBSNews.com.

Downey suggested that siblings further the development of social skills useful in navigating marriage.

"One of the ideas ... is the possibility that growing up with siblings and having lots of sibling interaction develops the kind of social skills that are potentially useful for maintaining a stable marriage later on in adulthood," said Downey.

The analysis is based on data collected between 1972 and 2012 from 57,061 adults.

In a separate study on marriage, researchers found working-class Americans are less likely to get married and stay married compared to those with college degrees.

The study by the University of Virginia and Harvard University finds that marriage is becoming a distinctive social institution marking middle-class status and has lost its relevance as a marker of adulthood.

Those in unstable work situations are not able to trust people and to develop intimate relationships, the study finds.

Researchers concluded that the findings are important as wages in the United States for the non-college-educated have fallen drastically because manufacturing work is increasingly being outsourced to other countries.

Both studies will be presented at the 108th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in New York City on Aug. 13.

  • Jessica Hartogs On Twitter»

    Jessica Hartogs is a news editor for CBSNews.com. You can find her on Twitter: @jessicahartogs

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