Book Recommendations

by on September 22, 2010

Surprisingly there is not much to read about growing up an only child – much more is written on parenting an only.

Falbo, T. (1984) The Single Child Family. York: Guilford. – Can be ordered from British library. Lots of quantitative research studies, not recommended if you are not user friendly with statistics. However a seminal work which most other books base their statistics on. Out of print.

Laybourn, A. (1994) Only Child: Myths and Reality. London: TSO
Useful book for parents and by a British researcher, somewhat polemical in saying the only child experience is not different, and unfortunately out of print.

Nachman, P. and Thompson, A. (1997) You and Your only Child: The Joys, myths and challenges of raising an Only ChildNew York: Harper Collins
Useful material for parents, with an US slant.

Newman, S. (2001) Parenting an Only Child Broadway Books
Probably the most available book, the message is ‘positive’ for the only child: they are an advantaged group, enabling parents to have it all. Very much written for US market.

Peck, E. (released circa 1979) The Joy of the Only Child. Very ‘positive’ written for the US market for parents.

Pitkeathley, J. Emerson, D. (1994). Only child.  London: Souvenir Press
Recommended as both readable and useful to only child adults as well as parents, very inclusive, although some people find it not ‘positive’ enough! The good news is it is back in print!

Pickhardt, Carl. (1997) Keys to Parenting the Only Child. Barron’s Parenting keys: New York.
Best book I have read for parents. He really looks at the dilemmas for the only child and for the parents. Out of print.

Pickhardt, Carl. (2008) The Future of Your Only Child. Palgrave, USA.
I am eagerly awaiting for a copy and will write my thoughts when read.

Roberts, L. and White Blanton, P. (2001) ‘I Always Knew Mom and Dad Loved Me Best’: Experiences of Only Children. Journal of Individual Psychology. Volume 57:2 P125 – 140 University of Texas Press
Interesting article, worth reading even though based on US experience.

Sifford, D. (1989) The only Child: Being One, Loving One, Understanding One, Raising One. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Journalistic and at times rather contradictory. The author is an only-child and is very pro the experience. He shares much of his own life, which to my mind though great, hardly supports his case!

Seigal, D. Uviller, D.(Eds) (2006) Only Child – Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up. Solo. Random House, US. A highly enjoyable read, giving lots of examples of the different aspects of growing up an only child by some well known authors.

Sorensen, B. (2008) Only Child Experience and Adulthood. Palgrave. This book presents accounts of the experience of growing up without siblings across the world. These stories offer a range of only-child voices which speak of the challenges and differences only-children face throughout their lives. You can read more about it here.

Sulloway, F. J.(1996) Birth Order: Born to Rebel. London: Abacus. A useful overview of the research on birth order,