Navigation Links
Growing up without sibs doesn't hurt social skills
Date:8/15/2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio Growing up without siblings doesn't seem to be a disadvantage for teenagers when it comes to social skills, new research suggests.

A study of more than 13,000 middle and high school students across the country found that "only children" were selected as friends by their schoolmates just as often as were peers who grew up with brothers and sisters.

"I don't think anyone has to be concerned that if you don't have siblings, you won't learn the social skills you need to get along with other students in high school," said Donna Bobbitt-Zeher, co-author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University's Marion campus.

Bobbitt-Zeher conducted the study with Douglas Downey, professor of sociology at Ohio State. They presented their research Aug. 16 in Atlanta at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

The concern that a lack of siblings might hurt children's social skills has become more significant in recent years, Bobbitt-Zeher said.

"As family sizes get smaller in industrialized countries, there is concern about what it might mean for society as more children grow up without brothers and sisters," she said.

"The fear is that they may be losing something by not learning social skills through interacting with siblings."

In fact, a 2004 study by this study's co-author, Douglas Downey, did find that children without siblings showed poorer social skills in kindergarten compared with those who had at least one sibling.

This new study was designed to see if that advantage to having siblings persists as children become adolescents.

Data from the study came from the National Study of Adolescent Health (ADD Health), which interviewed students in grades 7 through 12 at more than 100 schools nationwide during the 1994-95 academic year.

ADD Health used an innovative way to examine friendship among these students: each student was given a roster of all students at their school, and was asked to identify up to five male and five female friends.

"This allows us to consider how popular a student is by counting how many times peers identified him or her as a friend," Bobbitt-Zeher said.

Overall, students in the study were nominated by an average of five other schoolmates as a friend. There were no significant differences in that number between those who had siblings, and those who had none.

The researchers examined a wide variety of situations and still found no difference. The number of siblings a teen had didn't matter, and it didn't matter if those siblings were brothers, sisters or some combination, or if they were stepsiblings, half-siblings or adopted siblings.

"In every combination we tested, siblings had no impact on how popular a student was among peers," she said.

There is also a concern that parents who have large families are somehow different than other parents, and this may influence how popular their children are. So the researchers took into account a wide variety of other factors, including socioeconomic status, parents' age, race, and whether a teen lives with both biological parents or not. None of these factors changed the relationship between number of siblings and social skills.

Why did this study find no effect of siblings on social skills, while Downey's earlier study of kindergarteners did?

Bobbitt-Zeher noted that the two studies had different methods for estimating social skills, which may have played a role. The earlier study of kindergarteners was based on teacher ratings of social skills, while the teen study used friendship nominations by peers.

But more importantly, Bobbitt-Zeher said she believes that children learn a lot about getting along with others between kindergarten and high school.

"Kids interact in school, they're participating in extracurricular activities, and they're socializing in and out of school," she said.

"Anyone who didn't have that peer interaction at home with siblings gets a lot of opportunities to develop social skills as they go through school."


'/>"/>

Contact: Donna Bobbitt-Zeher
bobbitt-zeher.1@osu.edu
740-725-6180
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study: Medicare policy may account for growing length of hospice stays in nursing homes
2. The Laser Warehouse Increases its Inventory of Used Cosmetic Lasers to Meet Growing Demand
3. Surf Sweets Among Few Candy Offerings Free of Synthetic Dyes Despite Growing Consumer Concern Over Affect on Children
4. Talon Air Adds A Brand New Cessna Grand Caravan Turbo Prop To Its Growing Private Jet Charter Fleet
5. AACR Adds to Growing STAR P-2 trial; Publishes Update and Perspectives in Cancer Prevention Research
6. Global Medical Connect Launches New Website for the Growing Medical Tourism Industry
7. Backyard Poultry A Growing Trend Throughout US - USDA Offers Pointers on Keeping them Safe
8. Osteoarthritis Claims Growing Number of Younger Victims
9. Degrees in Nursing & Health Sciences Provide Job Opportunities In the Nation's Fastest Growing Industry
10. Mass. Eye and Ear receives NEI grant renewal for growing clinical/scientists
11. Growing Number of Healthcare Organizations Choose the Talent Platform
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2017)... , ... June 27, 2017 , ... DrugDev ... is whether they can trust the sponsor to pay them correctly and on time. ... and CROs establish payment strategies that encourage sites to work on their studies. , ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... , ... June 27, 2017 , ... The Congressional Budget ... to repeal and replace the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), would ... what would be expected under current law. , More than 20 million Americans have ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... A January 18th article on ... staggering $6.81 billion by the year 2024 according to a new report. The article ... those made from titanium. Los Angeles area clinic Beverly Hills Periodontics & Dental Implant ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2017 ... ... and marketing experts to contribute to an upcoming case studies guidebook. This guidebook ... her organization. , This book will include articles, case studies and how-to’s that ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... CT (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2017 , ... Dr. ... the recent renovation of his practice, Advanced Periodontics and Dental Implant Center of Connecticut. ... increased the administrative and waiting areas. The renovations are intended to improve patient comfort ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 14, 2017  In 2016, ... Creative Startups pitch competition and came away with ... platform is described by Forbes as "entering the life ... Medical Association as teaching "empathy to medical professionals in ... startup was recently named a finalist for the Department ...
(Date:6/9/2017)... , June 9, 2017 AirXpanders, Inc. (ASX: ... on the design, manufacture, sale and distribution of the ... the progress of its commercial roll-out in ... in more than one hundred (100) medical institutions and ... AeroForm offers a needle-free alternative for women who choose ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... , June 7, 2017 Endo International plc ... 7, 2017, the Hon. Joseph R. Goodwin , ... West Virginia , entered a case ... Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (the "MDL") that ... cases to provide expert disclosures on specific causation within ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: