Brothers and Sisters—“More” is Better? Effects on School, Violence and Health

Inês Camacho, Margarida Gaspar de Matos, Gina Tomé, Marta Reis, Antonia Jiménez-Iglesias, Mari Carmen Moreno, Diana Galvão


Aims: The aim of this study was to understand the differences between adolescents with and without brothers and sisters, in what concerns to risk behaviours, health and the relationship with their peers and family.

Sample: The Portuguese HBSC (Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children) survey included a total of 6026 students where 47.7% were boys.

Results: Male adolescents with three or more brothers drink and smoke more, feel sadder, are more nervous and angrier, have more worries, and more frequently act as bullies. Boys who are only child are more satisfied with life and report more frequently that they like school. Boys with more than three sisters practice more physical activity. Girls with one brother are less victimized and have better relationships with their friends.

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