The academic, personality, and physical outcomes of only children in China. Academic Article uri icon


  • Representative samples of 1,000 schoolchildren from 4 Chinese provinces were surveyed to compare the outcomes of only children to those of firstborn and later-born children. The children's ages ranged from 8 to 17 years, with half of the sample in the third grade and the other half in the sixth grade. 3 types of outcomes were considered. In terms of academics, differences between only children and others were found in 3 of the 4 provincial samples, with onlies being most likely to outscore others in verbal tests. In terms of personality evaluations, very few only-child effects were found. In 2 of the 4 provincial samples, only children were found to be taller or to weigh more than others. Taken together, these results suggest that the one-child policy in China is not producing a generation of "little emperors."

published proceedings

  • Child Dev

altmetric score

  • 24

author list (cited authors)

  • Falbo, T., & Poston, D. L.

citation count

  • 120

complete list of authors

  • Falbo, T||Poston, DL

publication date

  • January 1993