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Study shows sibling rivalry never really goes away

Study shows sibling rivalry never really goes away
/ izusek / E+ / Getty Images

1 in 2 adults still argue and compete with their brothers and sisters.

If you think the competition between brothers and sisters will cease once they grow up, think again. According to a new study, unresolved conflicts between siblings may gather momentum in adulthood, and not dealing with issues at a younger age can make things worse in the future.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by NOW, finds 51 percent of adults still have a competitive relationship with their brothers and sisters. And of the 2000 people surveyed, many can’t help but compete over career goals (26%) and even homeownership (22%).

Meanwhile, another 20 percent still argue over who is their parent’s “favorite” in the family and 20 percent also strive to outdo their sibling in the kitchen.

Other areas brothers and sisters keep battling over include their vacation destinations, who drives a nicer car, and their skills as a parent.

“Sibling rivalry never goes away, with many of us competing with our brothers or sisters long after we have left home,” Jamie Schwartz from NOW says in a statement.

On average, the study shows siblings usually argue twice a month and a third admit that they’ve stopped talking to a brother or sister for a period of time over a disagreement.

A few more key takeaways:

17% report they’ve had a rivalry with their siblings at every stage of their lives.

43% believe this competition heightens each year around holidays like birthdays and Mother’s Day.

25% percent believe competition is a healthy aspect of any sibling relationship.

20 % believe their personal sibling rivalries have helped them achieve more in life.

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