Younger siblings who argue with older brothers and sisters are more likely to be successful in later life, researchers from the University of Cambridge have said.

The scientists claim arguments between brothers and sisters can increase social skills, vocabulary and development. Quarrels also develop a competitive streak, which helps children to become more popular and successful both at school and in later life.

Dr Claire Hughes, from Newham College, Cambridge, said: "When children are arguing my research makes the case that they are actually benefiting from the confrontation.

"Parents who are being worn down by constant bickering among children should take comfort in the fact that their children are learning important social skills.

"Second siblings do better in our tests and children who have better social understanding go on to be more popular in later life.

"The traditional view has been that having a brother or sister leads to a lot of competition for parents' attention and love. In fact, the balance of our evidence suggests that children's social understanding may be accelerated by their interaction with siblings in many cases."




 Sibling rivalry