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Only Children and Personality Development: A Quantitative Review

Denise F. Polit and Toni Falbo
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 49, No. 2 (May, 1987), pp. 309-325
DOI: 10.2307/352302
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352302
Page Count: 17
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Only Children and Personality Development: A Quantitative Review
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Abstract

A quantitative review of the literature on the personality characteristics of only children was conducted to provide a baseline, archival resource on 16 different personality domains and to advance theory in the area of family configuration effects on personality development. This review combined the results of 141 studies and found that only children scored significantly better than other groups in achievement motivation and personal adjustment. The achievement motivation finding was especially reliable, persisting across several comparison groups. Overall, however, the review indicated that only children were comparable in most respects to their siblinged counterparts. The findings are discussed in terms of parent-child relations and socioeconomic factors.

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