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Child Development Research
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 578289, 10 pages
Research Article

Comparing Adolescent Only Children with Those Who Have Siblings on Academic Related Outcomes and Psychosocial Adjustment

1Department of Sociology, California State University, San Bernardino, 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, CA 92407, USA
2Department of Sociology, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-4423, USA

Received 27 September 2013; Revised 8 December 2013; Accepted 9 December 2013; Published 14 January 2014

Academic Editor: Ross Flom

Copyright © 2014 Zeng-yin Chen and Ruth X. Liu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study uses a large and representative sample of adolescents to test the theoretically informed hypotheses comparing adolescent singletons with those who have siblings. The results found that, for academic related outcomes (educational expectations, time spent on homework, and self-reported grades), there are no differences between singletons and firstborns who have any number of younger siblings. Singletons are also not different from laterborns from two-child families. In contrast, singletons are more advantageous compared to laterborns who have two or more siblings on educational expectations and grades. Singletons also spend more time on homework than laterborns who have three or more siblings. For psychosocial outcomes (psychological distress, susceptibility to negative peer pressure, and problem behaviors), singletons are not different from both firstborns and laterborns with any number of siblings. The findings suggest that singletons are not at any disadvantage compared to their peers who have siblings and they enjoy some advantages over laterborns from medium to large families on academic related outcomes.