Only children often find it harder to socialize with other children, because they may have had very little opportunity to learn social skills, such as sharing and taking turns. Only children can also be very self-centered and expect other kids to be as doting as their parents.
The only child syndrome theory suggests that a child without siblings may be more likely to lack social skills and be spoiled, lonely, or selfish.
Only children, however, got lower agreeable scores, a measure of sociability, empathy and connection, as compared to non-only children, as per the study.
Profile. Being an only child has little to do with a child's social development. A recent study that followed thirty only children and thirty-five first-born children to the age of three found that the two groups of children behaved very similarly to each other toward their peers, their parents, and other adults.
“Firstborn children can be goal-oriented, outspoken, stubborn, independent, and perfectionistic,” Smelser says, and when you look at the way firstborns are nurtured, it starts to make sense why. “These traits are often reinforced by parents through their interactions with the child,” she says.
Social isolation in early childhood can indeed affect a child's growth and development. In fact, children deprived of social relationships can experience cognitive and speech delays, as well as physical and mental health concerns in adulthood.
MYTH: Only children are lonely. FACT: Only children can have as many friends as their peers with siblings do.
As argued, socially isolated children are at increased risk of health problems in adulthood. Furthermore, studies on social isolation have demonstrated that a lack of social relationships negatively impacts the development of the brain's structure.
Weak social skills are commonly found in children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Non-verbal Learning Disability (NVLD), and Social Communication Disorder (SCD).
The problems gifted children sometimes face with socializing often stem from their asynchrony and educational setting. Asynchronous development, or uneven development, is often considered a core trait of giftedness. These students may be college age intellectually but still 12 in terms of their social skills.
Today, 20% to 30% of American families have one child. Small families are even more common in metropolitan areas. 30% of families in Manhattan only have one child.
Youngest children are very slightly more likely to be Introverts (+1.13%) than they are Extraverts (-1.07%). Only children are less likely to be Introverts (-2.23%).
Dr Newman says the often-greater access only children have to parent/s, resources and one-on-one conversation "can expand vocabulary growing up and give the child an educational edge". "Being an only child [also] enhances creativity and feeds independence and the ability to entertain him/herself.
Research has showed that, while having one child is associated with a gain in happiness, having a second is associated with a drop in happiness for mothers.
Being an only child is a lot of fun and contrary to popular belief, it isn't all about feeling lonely and longing for company. Speaking from personal experience, I can say that being the only child in the family is the gift that keeps on giving.
There is evidence to suggest that healthy sibling relationships promote empathy, prosocial behavior and academic achievement. While healthy sibling relationships can be an incredible source of support, unhealthy and toxic sibling relationships may be equally devastating and destabilizing.
"Lacking encouragement from family or friends, those who are lonely may slide into unhealthy habits," Valtorta says. "In addition, loneliness has been found to raise levels of stress, impede sleep and, in turn, harm the body. Loneliness can also augment depression or anxiety."
They might struggle to make conversation, seem out of sync, or behave in a way that turns off other people. People may have trouble picking up on social cues and following social rules. That can make it hard for them to fit in, form friendships, and work with others.
PREFRONTAL CORTEX: In some studies, people who are lonely have been found to have reduced brain volumes in the prefrontal cortex, a region important in decision making and social behavior, although other research suggests this relationship might be mediated by personality factors.
The Theory of the Only Child
On balance, then, Stronge and her fellow researchers suggest that only children “should be more spoiled and self-centered, lack social skills, and struggle with anxiety.” However, the opposite can be true as well.
If you're an only child, your best romantic match is an older brother of sisters, according to this website.
What Is Oldest Child Syndrome? Oldest Child Syndrome is believed by some to be evidence of common characteristics that can be attributed to birth order. These traits of first-born children include a sense of entitlement, responsibility, and ambition.