How Siblings Affect Each Other's Health Research Paper by Nicky

An examination of the influence of the environment and genetics on siblings' effect on each other's health.
# 151006 | 1,909 words | 10 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on May 17, 2012 in Biology (Genetics) , Medical and Health (General) , Psychology (General)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper reveals that although siblings share an average of half of all their genes with one another, they affect one another's health more by what they learn and share during childhood. The paper refers to studies on older or younger siblings with stunted growth, who have spina bifida, infants in Kenya, siblings who visit a baby at the intensive care unit, who develop major adult depression in later life, anxiety disorders, CVD, and risky behaviors in teenagers. The paper reaches the conclusion that siblings affect one another's health more as a result of the environment than genetics.

Summary, Conclusion and Opinion

From the Paper:

"Siblings share, on the average, half of one another's genes (Needlman, 2004). This is roughly the same as the genes shared by each parent and each child, except in the case of identical twins, which is 100% (Needlman). Some studies say that having an older sibling, particularly, a brother, may stunt physical growth (Lawson, 2007). Research conducted on 14,000 families by the University College London ascribed this to the condition of the womb after the first pregnancy as a factor. Children with three siblings in these respondent families were 2.5 cm to 1 inch shorter than the average height for their age. These respondent children were born in the 90s and enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. This was one of the largest public health studies in Britain. It showed that an older sister affects younger children's development less than an older brother. Boys demand more resources to bring up and parents usually need to stretch time, money, materials, and love to care for succeeding children (Lawson.
"An epidemiology and public health expert at the Imperial College London believed that the environment of the womb has something to do with stunted physical growth in younger siblings (Lawson, 2007). Mario-Riita Jarvelin proposed that a woman who has had earlier pregnancies may increase her weight or her sugar level becomes poorer. The condition can affect the growth of the fetus. Parents in large families are less financially capable of providing for younger children's nutrition. This puts the youngest at the greatest risk (Lawson)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bellin, M. H.; Bentley, K. J.; and Sawin, K. J. (2009). Factors associated with the psychological and behavioral adjustment of siblings of youth with spina bifida.Systems and Health: American Psychological Association, Inc. Retrieved on October 27, 2009 from
  • Booth, M. (2005). Siblings heart health an indicator of cardiac risk: a study. Earth Times: The Earth Times. Retrieved on October 27, 2009 from
  • Dia, D. A. and Harrington, D. (2006). What about me? Siblings of children with anxiety disorder. Social Work Research: National Association of Social Workers. Retrieved on October 27, 2009 from
  • Lawson, D. (2007). How older siblings stunt growth. University College London: BBC News. Retrieved on October 27, 2009 from
  • Needlman, R. (2004). Why are siblings so important? Dr. Spock: Dr. Spock Company.Retrieved on October 27, 2009 from,1510,3961,00.html

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

How Siblings Affect Each Other's Health (2012, May 17) Retrieved August 15, 2022, from

MLA Format

"How Siblings Affect Each Other's Health" 17 May 2012. Web. 15 August. 2022. <>