The Influences of One-Child Policy in China

Topics: Family, Only child, Little Emperor Syndrome Pages: 2 (772 words) Published: February 15, 2011
Thirty years after the mainland began forbidding some families from having more than one child, in order to solve a dizzying population crisis, the country’s psychiatrists say the result has been a self-centred generation that, having grown up without siblings has never learned to share. Now, as the children from one-child families enter child-bearing age themselves, mainland authorities have decided to intervene to prevent similar problems occurring. In Beijing and Guangzhou, health authorities are co-operating with counselling centres for adolescents and mental hospitals to launch special schemes to help thousands of “little emperors”. Families living in most Chinese cities are now barred from having more than one child each unless neither parent has a sibling. With aunts, uncles and cousins pruned from family trees, the attention and expectations of two parents and four grandparents all bear down on a single child. To psychiatrists, the policy has produced a generation of self- centred loners, prone to exaggerated feelings of superiority and also liable to have trouble building close relationships. And without intervention, these character traits are likely to be passed on to the next generation. Dr Cui Yonghua , a psychiatrist at Beijing Anding Hospital, said young patients’ records from the past 15 years suggested there were irremediable character defects among the new no-sibling generation. He has joined a charitable family education programme, sponsored by Renmin University, which helps parents and children in one-child families. “The situation is worrying,” Cui said. “A whole generation born after 1978 has developed a large number of mental and behavioural problems because they were spoiled by their parents and grandparents, and this has significantly affected population quality. “Beijing health authorities have noticed this problem since 1993, and we did a large-scale survey across the country between 1993 and ‘99. But intervention programmes for the...
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