Being an only child can bring misery or happiness to an individual’s life. In addition, it can create a set of problems for the child and their family. In comparison to families with multiple children, it’s a different process of development and socialization. It can lead to a different life in comparison to other children, such as “being isolated as they grow up, frequently Short tempered, not sharing with peers or family friends, clinging, whining, all of which can happen in a single child life (Daniel, 2018). The purpose of this study is to investigate if the lives of single children can be negatively affected in terms of their relationship with their family and educational pressure on a short-term basis. From the perspective of an only child, it has its advantages and disadvantages
I conducted this study primarily to see if being an only child has a relatively short-term negative impact on their lives. I surveyed 125 people all around the late adolescent sand early-adulthood stage, ranging from ages 15 to 21. Of these 125 participants, 56 were without siblings. The principal instrument used to conduct this study was in survey format. This allowed me as the researcher to gather information from a large group of people in a simple and quick manner. The Surveys were handed out in a high school to grade 10 – 12 classes and in a workplace environment to only the younger staff members. Cutting down the participants only 56 allowed me to thoroughly analyze the result of the surveys in just a couple days. These participants were all diverse in gender and ethnicity, with the link between them being of the same or similar age group and being an only child. These factors were collected from the first set of questions of the survey, demographic questions. Following this section, participants were asked if they were an only child. Those who answered no, their surveys were no longer relevant in this study thus eliminating them as participants. Those who answered yes, continued the survey and were asked questions regarding their parents and what it was generally like being an only child. The questions in the survey were mainly focused on the effects of being an only child and how it links to their family relationships and strength of the stress they have. Many questions were open ended to allow participants to go into detail, but answers were later categorized to elicit a summarized response in the results.
Results – Demographics
56 people in this study acknowledged being an only child, out of the grand amount of 125 participants taking part. Of the 56 partakers, all were in either the late adolescent or early adulthood stage, ranging from the ages of 15 to 21. After analyzing the questions regarding their education field, a substantial majority, 43 to be exact, were students in either high-school or post-secondary. The remaining 13 were in the workplace whom had just graduated from high-school. A great percentage of the participants in the workplace were over the age of 20, with only 6 participants in post-secondary. In terms of the contributor’s gender, 31 were male and 25 being females.
Results – Family Relationships
In the survey, I gave participants questions regarding their family relationships, and if it had been negatively affected. Summarizing the results, 40 of the 56 participants said their relationship with their parents was difficult to explain. In addition, a dozen surveys said through their experiences of seeing the relationship of kids with siblings and their parents, it was much different to their own. 44 participants stated they felt more isolated and lonely growing up, even in their early high school years. A great majority claimed that they felt hesitant to go to their parents about any personal issues, mainly because they weren’t aware if they would get into trouble or understand. Of the participants in the workplace or post-secondary, they stated their relationship with their parents and family in general, was very weak. The high-school participants claimed that they would spend less time at home with their parents and at family events, primarily due to the fact they had no sibling(s).
Results – Educational Pressure
The next section of this survey was focused on the participant’s stress levels and pressure from their parents. Participants were asked how involved their parents were in the educational life. On a scale of not involved at all to smothering, all 56 participants said smothering. Most of them explained that being an only child made their parents watch them strictly about the smallest things. With no other sibling, they believed that their parents relied on them to be successful in school. Some related their explanations to their cousins who had siblings. They claimed that the parents of their cousins were less focused on their academic success giving them flexibility in their school life. They were also asked how specifically they were affected A great majority of the participants expressed that within the first few months of high school, the relationship between their parents were much stricter and would primarily talk about and focus on school. After being asked to explain further, they said this led to the belief that their parents were focused on one thing only, their educational success. Thus, making it harder for the child to stay focused at school due to an abnormal amount of pressure, especially being in grade 9. Concluding these results, most, if not all of the participants were pressured in their academic life which stressed them out and possibly led to more consequential results. These issues play a huge factor in who they are today, and may have affected their future and what they may become.
Discussion Family Relationships
There’s enough evidence to prove and show that family relationships are impacted during child life without a sibling. Creating bad relationships in the family can basically affect child relationship in adulthood. The best thing to do in this case is to keep a good relationship with the child is the key. Having a bad relationship with child can affect future generations and create many conflict throughout the family.
Parents always want the best thing for their kids. In order for teenagers to meet these expectations, they must do well during the school years. Numerous amount of parents put intense pressure on their kids to earn the best grades they can get, no matter what the situation is. “depression among theses teenagers have increased by 70% in the past 25 years. Pressure has been key part to play towards this staggering rise.”( today’s Teens Under Too Much Pressure) Many Experts warn that this type of intense pressure to theses teens performance can backfire, leading to social, emotional and physical stress.
To conclude this study, my hypothesis of believing that being an only child can affect their family relations and have a lot of educational pressure, was correct and align with the results. After analyzing the study, I realized I could have added in more opened ended and detailed questions for the participants to answer, which would have made my argument stronger. I could have also asked question about their grade in high school, and do a comparison to students with siblings, but I believed there were third party variables in play which could slew the results. A major problem in all studies would be getting the whole truth from the participants. Regarding this sensitive topic, certain people may feel uncomfortable to explain personal details. To help with that, I believe making this survey anonymous helped with that fear and embarrassment. A key problem I found for this study was the time allotted to conduct it. Many experiments in this field have months to collect and analyze information. If I had the opportunity to have the entire semester to conduct this study, the results would have enough participants to prove my hypothesis even stronger. If I had the chance to conduct this study in the future, I would attempt to include more participants to get more varied results, also have a stronger and more types of surveys and tools, and possibly meet one-on-one with the participants to ask even more detailed questions.