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The following is excerpted from the Huffington Post. To read the full article, click here

I am the middle child in a sister-trifecta, so I know all about how sisters can wear on your nerves one minute and feel like your best friend the second. At the end of the day, we were a loving — albeit totally dysfunctional — family, and I’ve learned a lot about the world and myself just by having them in my lives.

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That’s not surprising, though: Research shows there are many proven benefits to sisters. (As hard as it may be to believe when she’s “borrowing” your favorite sweater for the 10th time.)

“They help you develop social skills, like communication, compromise and negotiation,” says Alex Jensen, assistant professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University and the author of research into sibling relationships. “Even sibling conflict, if it is minor, can promote healthy development.”

Here are all the reasons why it’s awesome to have a sister, according to science:

A sister gives you a mental health boost

Need help out of a funk? Call your sister. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Family Psychology showed having a sister can boost your mental health and self-esteem. In particular, researchers from Brigham Young University found sisters help protect their siblings from “feeling lonely, unloved, guilty, self-conscious and fearful.”

“What we know suggests that sisters play a role in promoting positive mental health,” Jensen tells Motherly, “and later in life they often do more to keep families in contact with one another after the parents pass.”

To read the full article, click here