This study examined behavioral perceptions of only and siblinged children. Participants were 251 volunteers, 32% of who were the parents of only children, with a mean age of 35. Participants were randomly assigned to read one of eight scenarios depicting a child as male/female, only/siblinged, and problematic/prosocial. The depicted child' s perceived behaviors and the parents as the source of the behaviors were rated. Results showed that participants viewed only-females as exhibiting less prosocial behavior than siblinged-females. Parents of only-males were perceived to be the cause of a child's antisocial behavior more than parents of male-siblinged children. Parents of siblinged-females were perceived to be more at fault for a child's antisocial behavior than were parents of only-females. Child evaluations were affected by participants' age. Older participants viewed female-only and male-siblinged children as potential problems, both behaviorally and academically. Although mixed, these findings partially support the continued existence of negative stereotypes of only children and their parents.
"Comparative Study of Behavioral Perceptions of Only and Sibling Children,"
FSU Journal of Behavioral Sciences:
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.framingham.edu/journal_of_behavioral_sciences/vol2/iss1/2