Only child syndrome? These kids are no more ‘selfish, narcissistic’ than others, study suggests

onlychild x
Image: Jstor

Wherever you fall in a group of siblings, there are plenty of stereotypes about the sort of person you are or will turn out to be. Oldest of the bunch? You’ll be bossy, then. Youngest? Spoilt. Only child? Selfish and narcissistic, of course.

But this last stereotype, at least, can now be put to bed. That’s thanks to new research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science in which Michael Dufner from the University of Leipzig and colleagues found that the cliché, though widespread, is fundamentally inaccurate.

The first set of results did indeed indicate that we tend to ascribe higher levels of narcissistic admiration and narcissistic rivalry to only children. But results from the second part of the study seemed to suggest that our stereotyping has no grounding: only children did not actually differ in narcissism levels compared to those with siblings.

Related article:  Why do siblings of children with autism also have social problems?

The findings may have wider implications, too. Only children, perceived as high in narcissism, may be shunned or experience discrimination from others — even though this perception is based on completely unjustified grounds. “Given this downside, researchers and journalists should refrain from portraying only children as narcissistic,” write the authors.

Read full, original post: The Stereotype Of The Narcissistic Only Child Is Widespread – But It’s Wrong

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