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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Half-Siblings Engage In Risky Behaviors

The Brady Bunch opening grid, season one
New research has found that people with children that remarry someone who also has children from a previous relationship may find that their children (now step-children) will engage in risky behaviors. Researchers found that having half-siblings increases the chance that a teenager will use drugs and have sex by age 15, according to a study presented at the American Sociological Association (ASA) annual meeting.

Teens who have a half-sibling with a different father are about 65 percent more likely to have experimented with drugs by age 15, and they are about two-and-a-half times more likely to have had sex by that age, HealthDay reports.

“For children, [multi-partnered fertility] means having a half-sibling, but it also means, for first-born children, that they usually experienced their biological parents splitting up — if they were together at all, lived in a single mother household for some time, experienced their mother finding a new partner at least once and perhaps lived with a stepfather, and finally experienced their mother having a baby with a new partner,” researcher Karen Benjamin Guzzo of Bowling Green State University explained in a news release.

Obviously, having a half-sibling does not guarantee that teenagers will be prompted to use drugs and have sex but it is interesting that those who fall into the aforementioned group may practice risky behavior in their early teens. It may have more to do with trauma experienced during the divorce that sends teenagers on a path looking for coping mechanisms to deal with their feelings.
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