Register for updates

 
 

Psychology & Psychiatry
RSS Feed
Having a Sibling Makes You More Empathetic, Study Finds
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 9:51:00 AM

Younger and older siblings uniquely contribute to each other's development of empathy, TAU researchers say

A new Tel Aviv University study finds that both older and younger siblings positively influence each other's empathy.

Dr. Ella Daniel of TAU's Jaime and Joan Constantiner School of Education has determined that children whose younger brothers and sisters are kind, warm and supportive grow up to be more empathic than children whose younger siblings lack those characteristics. This challenges the established wisdom that it is only older children who play a role in shaping their younger siblings' attitudes.

In two separate observations over an 18-month period, the scientists tested an ethnically diverse group of 452 sibling pairs and their mothers in Canada. The researchers tested levels of empathy in 18- and 48-month-old siblings. They set up sessions in the families' homes and played with each child separately. During each session, the researcher would pretend to hurt him/herself, or break a valuable toy. The child's reaction would be noted and recorded. They conducted the same trial 18 months later, finding statistically significant effects on empathy.

The new study takes the burden off parents and older siblings, whose influence has been shown to affect the development of empathy. The researchers also found that the influence of older brothers and sisters was stronger in families where the age difference was bigger.

The research could influence policy debates about how best to conduct sibling interventions, including whether teaching one sibling (older or younger) can in turn affect the empathy of the other.

The study, conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University of Calgary, Université Laval, and the University of Toronto, was published in Child Development.

For more, read the article in Newsweek.




Latest News

"Robat" Uses Sound to Navigate and Map Unique Environments

New robot mimics bats' ability to employ sonar to navigate its surroundings, TAU researchers say.

Smartphones May Be Used to Better Predict the Weather

Data could be harnessed to forecast flash floods and other natural disasters, TAU researchers say.

Genome Analysis of 6,500-Year-Old Human Remains in Israeli Cave Points to Origin of Ancient Chalcolithic Culture

Skeletons buried in Israel's Upper Galilee reveal migration from ancient Turkey and Iran, TAU researchers say.

Shmunis Family Anthropology Institute Opens at TAU’s Steinhardt Museum of Natural History

Institute's cutting-edge technology provides new tools for research into the origin and development of modern humans.

In Neutron Stars, Protons May Do the Heavy Lifting

New TAU/MIT/ODU study finds that a small fraction of protons in neutron-dense objects can significantly impact their properties.

Microscale Superlubricity Could Pave Way for Future Improved Electromechanical Devices

Discovery may lead to more robust computer hard discs, TAU and Tsinghua University researchers say.

New Study Offers Hope of Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury

Novel enzyme treatment may reduce inflammation and scarring that prevent neuronal regeneration, TAU researchers say.

Link Found Between Resilience to Dyslexia and Gray Matter in the Frontal Brain

High density of neurons in frontal cortex important for successful reading, TAU researchers say.

Brain Arousal Compound Noradrenaline Plays Critical Role in Sensory Perception

Discovery paves way for detecting situations of dangerous lapses and for improving anesthesia protocols, TAU researchers say.

Compounds Found in Green Tea and Wine May Block Formation of Toxic Metabolites

Discovery may pave the way for therapies to treat inborn congenital metabolic disorders, TAU researchers say.

contentSecondary
c

© 2018 American Friends of Tel Aviv University
39 Broadway, Suite 1510 | New York, NY 10006 | 212.742.9070 | info@aftau.org
Privacy policy | Tel Aviv University