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The Dilemma of the Only Child.Introversion/Extraversion..

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posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 03:22 PM
Studies have shown that environment is not the sole personality determinant. However, environment is not trivial and should be considered, especially because studies regarding birth order have been shown to have some consistency. Firstborns have been shown to be more conscientious, ambitious, academically oriented, conforming, conservative, inclined toward leadership, and respectful of their parents than their later-born siblings.

Stereotypes of Only Children

The only child is automatically stigmatized. When asked to describe personality characteristics of an only child, many people will respond negatively, indicating the presupposition that only children are spoiled brats.
In China, couples are encouraged to have only one child in order to help curb population growth. These children, or "little emperors," as they have been called, are generally seen as spoiled monsters. However, research conducted by Falbo (Brophy, 1989), a psychologist known for work in the area of birth order, indicates otherwise.

Social Interaction

Because only children lack siblings, they lose the immediate availability of others near their own age with whom to interact socially. In order to develop normal social skills, only children must be exposed to other children of the same age through other means. For example, play groups can be valuable for the learning of social skills. However, only children must work to win friends because family life does not provide them.

Introversion/Extraversion and the Only Child

According to Skinner's behaviorist theory of operant conditioning, only children would undergo conditioning to affect their behavior in social situations. Operant conditioning involves the conditioning of behavior according to the consequences it produces (Mischel, 1993).
In this way, only children would be conditioned to behave in an outgoing manner, if they are to win friends, because they have no guaranteed familial playmates. Said the pediatrician M. Kappelman, "Only children don't easily assimilate into large groups, and when they do they tend to dominate" (Brophy, 1989). This conditioning would take place regardless of a child's natural inclinations toward extraversion or introversion if the child wishes to make friends.

The Dilemma


Ultimately, an only child's environment forces him or her to take on both characteristics of introversion and extraversion despite natural inclinations to be one or the other. A naturally introverted child must show extraverted qualities if he or she wishes to make friends; likewise, a naturally extraverted child must learn to show introverted qualities by being content to focus on his or her own thoughts when playmates are unavailable.

I would very much appreciate any feedback on the issue both fron 'Single & Multiple childhood' Experiances..

My opinion is that' Only Children' develop unique socialization skills; however, empirical evidence is needed.

What's Yours??.........

Mod Edit: to add link to the article. Please include your sources.

[edit on 10-12-2004 by kinglizard]

[edit on 10-12-2004 by Horus_Re]

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 04:25 PM
I'm an only child, but i don't think I can answer your question, I am not sure I can self analyze my social skills.

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 05:12 PM

Originally posted by worldwatcher
I'm an only child, but i don't think I can answer your question, I am not sure I can self analyze my social skills.

World Watcher THANKS for your reply..I'm a single child a matter of fact I'm even more than that..I never new any of my parents.

Raised by grand parents from mothers side,turned my uncles and aunts into brothers and sisters..I have a single son myself and that's why I thought I hear from some other people with simmilar situations for any opinions they might have on the issue...
You have been so far the only one to reply,Oh ..yes besides the 2 mods throwing the book at me..about the copy and paste...thing I was gonna put the link to the original source bur they've beat me to it..

here is where I got it..actuallY...

I'm kind of hoping for some pragmatic views to the situation,things I might keep in mind while raising a son on his own by two separate parents,again..I remember when I was a child and the tears I've shed and swore not to do the same..Well seems like there's much more to a couple than the wellbeing of their child...Wonder What..
With the U.S. being in the lead with the divorcing habbit ..I believe there should be plenty of people who could contribute to this topic...
I knew friends in Canada who had been married 4 times...
No that just blows me away..Why Bother???? I don't get it..All that trouble ,hussle,kids,money ...etc ;;;etc..;

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 07:13 PM
[edit on 10-12-2004 by Horus_Re]

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