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Only child An only child is a person with no siblings, either biological or adopted.

In a family with multiple offspring, first-borns may be briefly considered only children and have a similar early family environment, but the term only child is generally applied only to those individuals who never have siblings. An only child, however, may have halfsiblings or stepsiblings who come along considerably late and still be considered an only child. Children with much older or younger siblings may also have a similar family environment to only children.

The Big Five

Many contemporary personality theorists believe that the "big five personality traits" (also known as Five Factor Model) represent a natural taxonomy of human personality variables. Across different languages, the vast majority of adjectives used to describe human personality fit into one of the following five areas, easily remembered by the acronym OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Factor analyses of personality tests also tend to cluster around these five factors. In his book Born to Rebel, Frank Sulloway provides evidence that birth order influences the development of Big Five personality traits. Sulloway suggests that firstborns and only children are more conscientious, more socially dominant, less agreeable, and less open to new ideas compared to laterborns. [29] However, his conclusions have been challenged by other researchers,[30] who argue that birth order effects are weak and inconsistent. In one of the largest studies conducted on the effect of birth order on the Big Five, data from a national sample of 9,664 subjects found no association between birth order and scores on the NEO PI-R personality test.[31]

Benefits of Being an Only Child

Leadership Benefits Only children are both the first born and the last born child. These children must assume both roles. These children tend to be more academically oriented, ambitious, conscientious, conforming, conservative and respectful of their parents. Only children tend to be very successful. These children also have higher self esteem and are typically higher achievers than their siblings. Only children do not assimilate into groups often. However, when they do enter into groups they dominate the group in leadership positions. Children born later often tend to be more rebellious and flexible. Self-Sufficient Only children must learn to interact with other children in play groups rather than interact at home with their siblings. They tend to retreat to themselves, and they learn to be selfsufficient. Only children learn to make it on their own rather than seeking the help of their siblings. Individuals with brothers and sisters become more reliant on their siblings. No Sibling Rivalries There are no sibling rivalries and no competition for resources or for their parents affection. Sibling rivalries may become out of control when a younger, rebellious siblings compete for their parent's affection. In some instances, sibling rivalries have become fatal when inheritances or other emotional affections come into play. Only children do not have to worry

about such problems. Negatives of Being an Only Child

Must Work Harder to Establish Friendships Only children must work twice as hard to establish friendships. These children do not learn social skills with other children in the household. Therefore, all of their social interactions must be gained in the world with other children. Jealousy Individuals are often jealous of the success of only children and try to label them as spoiled brats. Only children tend to receive more negativity from the world than children who were raised with multiple siblings. Perceived as Loners An only child is accustomed to working alone to solve problems. Therefore, they are often perceived as loners. A loner is often not perceived well by society. Therefore, the actions of an only child may be misinterpreted. Only children value privacy and the luxuries of having their personal lives communicated only to a trusted group of individuals.