research

Are you a parent of an only-child teenager?

I wonder if anyone would be willing to help Ameerah Khadaroo with his Doctoral research? I think it is great when people want to research the lives and aspects of only-children, so if you are a parent of an only-child teenager, please read! Bernice Ameerah Khadaroo  writes: I am a PhD Psychology student at Warwick University and I am currently researching parenting of single-child and two-child families in the UK. This research will help to find out more about how families withonly children differ from those with more than one child during the teenage years. With growing numbers of couples having only one child, this would be important and relevant not just for parents and academics, but for all those who work with children. I am looking for families with children aged 11-14 to take part by both the adolescent and the parents completing some online questionnaires. At a later date, some [...]

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Only Child Syndrome: Stereotyping In Disguise!

  Here is an interesting article and the start of some research from 17 year old Alexandra Baker whose own experience has inspired her to do a project on only child stereotyping. If you want to take part click the link below! Link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6HJDBWZ Alexandra says: As an only child, I have been intrigued (and often angered!) by the comments made by others who say all only children are lonely spoiled brats who are unable to share. Where has this unfair presumption come from? I am a 17-year-old student from the UK and my first-hand experience of such negative comments has inspired me to undertake a project (Extended Project Qualification) looking into only children and how they are viewed by others. Through my project I hope to show that only children don’t deserve such unfair stereotyping. I’m sure many only children have overheard people talking about only children and heard them being described as ‘spoiled’, ‘lonely’ and [...]

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Is it selfish to only have one child?

This was the crux of the article published in the Daily Mail on the 16th April. Having been asked to comment about this, on live radio, I was interested to read Caroline Jones article on her experience of the overwhelming expectations from others, even complete strangers, that she should have another child to ensure her child would not be an only. She said she felt ‘bullied’ by people’s opinions and that her wish to have only one was viewed as ‘selfish’. Am I surprised by her experience? No! One of the interesting aspects, revealed in my evidence based research, is the continual pressure placed on one child families to have another child. She is absolutely right when she says that it is worse after you have had one child, as when you have none people are more sensitive to potential fertility problems. But have one child and that all changes. [...]

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Only-Child Research: the therapist as only-child

Over the last ten years, of my own only-child adult research, I have also encouraged other people with theirs. Here is a piece of research Carla Preston is undertaking for her Psychotherapy MA. It is particularly specific to people in the profession of counselling and psychotherapy, so I hope anyone in that position will feel able to take part in this useful research so that we can continue to expand the knowledge of the only child experience. Bernice Research Question Being Everything:  An exploration into the relational impact on the therapy when a therapist is an only-child.   Carla Preston I am a Humanistic counsellor studying for my Masters in Integrative Psychotherapy and I am in the process of starting to write my thesis about the experience of therapists who are only-children.  My interest stems from my own work in therapy and discussion about my relating patterns which might be a result of my upbringing as an only child. As a child I felt and still as an [...]

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Are only children happier?

A new study finds that quarreling siblings increase stress for the children as well as the parents.

Published in ‘The Week’  Is one the loneliest number? A new study says kids without siblings may be better off — thanks to an absence of bullying at home A new study finds that quarreling siblings increase stress for the children as well as the parents. Conventional wisdom holds that children without brothers and sisters are maladjusted and lonely compared to those with siblings. Not so, says a new British study from the University of Essex, which suggests that only children may have a better chance of happiness. Here’s a concise guide: What did the study find? Only children are happier than those with siblings, which may reflect the fact that they endure less bullying — something more than half of kids with siblings in the study reported. “Quarreling siblings increase stress for parents and some [parents] just give up intervening or intervene inconsistently, leaving the field wide open for [...]

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What else can we learn from only child research?

Part 2 In the previous post: Research in the West and China – are only children different? I discussed the rather contradictory facts from the research carried out by both US and Chinese researchers. Let us look at these contradictions further and see what we may learn. If we look at China: Poston & Falbo’s criticised the Chinese psychologists for holding negative stereotypes of only-children, as they did in their US research. Similarly they conclude that only-children are at a slight advantage over those with siblings, as they stated in the US. But it appears to me, that research, at least in China, has been politically useful with regard to the one-child policy and of course this is publically funded which I image is also the case in the US. What is particularly interesting to me is the cultural bias all research contains. In China where collectivism and achievement is [...]

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Research in the West and China: Are only children different?

Part 1 In my previous post I looked at the roots of the negative stereotype. Prior to the 20th century the large family was the cultural norm. Having a lot of children was preferable because of high infant mortality and the lack of social benefit for the elderly. The more children you had were a guarantee, that as you became older, there might be someone to look after you. Farming communities in particular, knew it was beneficial to have many children to help with the numerous jobs required. The industrial revolution changed this somewhat, as more mouths to feed did not necessarily generate more food unless everyone had work. It was only when birth control was both more effective and freely available that this situation changed. Now people had a choice about the number of children they had, but the deep-seated idea that having many children was ‘God’s will’ remained. [...]

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Book Review: From Australia

Bernice Sorensen has conducted research into the only-child experience in adulthood. Her research was conducted through interviews with adult only children at various life stages, and also emails to her only-child website. As an only-child I found the book enlightening. A significant aspect of being an only-child, is that your childhood is experienced in isolation. As an adult there are no siblings who have witnessed what you have experienced; and only a minority of people you contact would understand this experience, as only a small proportion of the population are only children For this reason I found the book refreshing, as only-child adults from around the world have had the opportunity to contribute to the research via Sorensen’s website and as a result of reading other ‘onlies’ experiences, I found I am not unusual, but quite normal for an only child. Sorensen is also an only-child, and relates her experience [...]

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This Book captured my experience totally

Amazon Book Review UK 12 April 2008 This review is from: Only-Child Experience and Adulthood (Hardcover) As an Only Child myself I was interested to see what Dr. Sorensen had come up with in her research. Although her initial research was with Female Adult Onlies it crossed the gender barrier. I identified with most of the material in the book and was very moved by many of the stories. After reading the book I went into her website onlychild.org.uk and felt at last someone is speaking about what it is like to grow up an only child. This is destined to become a seminal book on the subject of adult only children. Paul S-M Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Share on technorati Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post Bookmark in Browser

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Not Special but Different: The Only Child Experience ©

Self and Society: May 2006 Edition By Dr Bernice Sorensen As part of a doctorate in psychotherapy, I have been researching the experiences of adult only children. As an only child I was curious to know if other adult only children had comparable experiences to myself and if these were in any way peculiar to only children. During my research experiences emerged that were common to only children though not exclusive to them. By using in depth interviews as well as message boards and chat rooms on the internet, I began to notice that these experiences were important to both men and women and appeared true of adult onlies in the UK, the US, Canada and Australia. I also interviewed therapists who worked specifically with this group, to see if their clinical experiences reflected similar themes. Finally, I co-facilitated workshops, with an only child male therapist, on issues such as [...]

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