Being an Only Child

Topics: Personality psychology, Sibling, Family Pages: 4 (1456 words) Published: May 3, 2005
This paper is going to show two of the various theories of being an only child. These theories come from a famous psychologist known as Burrhus Frederic Skinner and a psychology major at Northwestern University known as Alissa D. Eischens. But first it will mention the stereotypes given to the "only child" from an outsider's point of view, then two cases that describe different childhood experiences that they had as an "only child" and how they dealt with it. Then it will go on and discuss a few statistics.

The only child is automatically judged by people. We assume that their selfish, anxious, not fun to be associated with, difficult when it comes to making their way in a world that doesn't centrally evolve around them. When an outsider is asked to describe the characteristics of an only child they will most likely respond with they are "spoiled brats." They get all of the attention they want from their parents because there aren't any brothers or sisters to compete with. However, only children seem to have a better self-esteem and are higher achievers. Not to mention their personalities vary greatly. Not having siblings around telling them what's right or wrong to do by their standards allow the child to think on their own, without help from anyone other than their parents. (Sifford, pg 13)

Here's a case of one adult that remembers sharply about growing up as an only child. This person blames a lot of their issues on being an only child. The lack of peer interaction, and the great amounts of adult contact created a proneness to loneliness, selfishness, pride, and the need of belonging and approval. They never had to share and everything that their parent owned was also considered hers. She didn't have to learn to share until a much older age than most kids with siblings. She never had to experience a brother or sister borrowing or simply taking items and losing, breaking, or simply not returning to them to her. The thing she remembers most about being a...
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