The birth order is hugely influential on the personality of a child; research has shown that most of the U.
Overview[ edit ] Throughout history, only children were relatively uncommon. From around the middle of the 20th century, birth rates and average family sizes fell sharply, for a number of reasons including increasing costs of raising children and more women having their first child later in life.
The proportion of families in the U. The premature death of one parent also contributed to a small percentage of marriages producing just one child until around the mid 20th century, not to mention the then rare occurrence of divorce.
Only children are sometimes said to be more likely to develop precocious interests from spending more time with adults and to feel lonely. Children whose only siblings are much older than them sometimes report feeling like an only child.
A disadvantage is that it can be harder for an only child to singlehandedly look after their aging parents. Stanley Hall was one of the first commentators to give only children a bad reputation when he referred to their situation as "a disease in itself".
Even today, only children are commonly stereotyped as "spoiled, selfish, and bratty". Research involving teacher ratings of U. While a later study failed to find evidence this continued through middle and high school    a further study showed that deficits persisted until at least the fifth grade.
However, recent studies do not support these claims, and show no significant differences in personality between only children and children in larger families.
It is suggested that confusion arises about the norms of ages and roles and that Single child syndrome parents similar effect exists in understanding during relationships with other peers and youth, all throughout life.
The only statistically significant difference discovered was that only children possessed a higher achievement motivation, which Polit and Falbo attributed to their greater share of parental resources, expectations, and scrutiny exposing them to a greater degree of reward, and greater likelihood of punishment for falling short.
A second analysis by the authors revealed that only children, children with only one sibling, and first-borns in general, score higher on tests of verbal ability than later-borns and children with multiple siblings.
Because these resources are finite, children with many siblings are thought to receive fewer resources. However, the Confluence Model  suggests there is an opposing effect from the benefits to the non-youngest children of tutoring younger siblings, though being tutored does not make up the reduced share of parental resources.
This provides one explanation for the poorer performance on tests of ability of only children compared to first-borns, commonly seen in the literature,   though explanations such as the increased and earlier likelihood of experiencing parental separation or loss for last-born and only children have also been suggested, as this may be the cause of their very status.
He reassures the reader with a narrative constructed from interviews with researchers and writers on only children, combined with snippets from the research literature, that this would not be harmful to child development. He argues that most cultural stereotypes are false, that there are not many differences between only children and other children, and where there are differences, they are favorable to the only child.
Most research on only children has been quantitative and focused on the behaviour of only-children and on how others, for example teachers, assess that behaviour. Bernice Sorensen, in contrast, used qualitative methods in order to elicit meaning and to discover what only-children themselves understand, feel or sense about their lives that are lived without siblings.
Her research showed that during their life span only children often become more aware of their only child status and are very much affected by society's stereotype of the only-child whether or not the stereotype is true or false.
She argues in her book, Only Child Experience and Adulthood, that growing up in a predominantly sibling society affects only children and that their lack of sibling relationships can have an important effect on both the way they see themselves and others and how they interact with the world.
Parents that choose to have only one child could differ systematically in their characteristics from parents who choose to have more than one child. The paper concludes that "those who grew up as only children as a consequence of the one-child policy in China are found to be less trusting, less trustworthy, less likely to take risks, and less competitive than if they had had siblings.
They are also less optimistic, less conscientious, and more prone to neuroticism". Sulloway suggests that firstborns and only children are more conscientious, more socially dominant, less agreeable, and less open to new ideas compared to laterborns.
In one of the largest studies conducted on the effect of birth order on the Big Five, data from a national sample of 9, subjects found no association between birth order and scores on the NEO PI-R personality test.Tips for Parents Suffering From the 'Only Child Syndrome' the single-child family is the fastest growing family unit and has been for more than two decades.
Oct 03, · One of every four American children today lives in a single-parent home. And though the circumstances may vary (some parents are divorced, others are widowed, and others are single parents Author: Laura Broadwell. Since I posted Durango’s article on only child syndrome there has been quite a lot of response Your life is all how you make of it quit complaining and get on with your life.
im an only child from a single parent with cancer. i didnt boo hoo. get over yourself people!! I’m an only child, my parents could only have me.
Though I do. The child suffering from middle child syndrome often exhibits little sense of direction due to the fact that they are disillusioned and feel as though they are not good enough.
They have never been able to forge ahead and do something for the first time to impress their parents, because the eldest sibling has probably done it already. In single-parent families, the child and parent may rely more heavily on each other, may provide more emotional support for one another, and can be more enmeshed when it comes to decision making.
Related Articles. Empty Nest Syndrome; Understanding Single Parent Families; Common Single Mom Problems; Grief. It is completely normal for single parents to experience grief-like symptoms prior to .
Nov 26, · The empty nest single parent situation is one of mixed emotions and with it often comes an outpouring of grief that many parents don't expect.
Even more surprising is the fact that this mourning stage can begin well and truly before your kids move out of home.