The Degree to Which Parents' Perceptions about the Effects of Sibling Status on Children are Reflected in Their Own Children

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The Degree to Which Parents' Perceptions about the Effects of Sibling Status on Children are Reflected in Their Own Children  This study was conducted to see to what degree parents' perceptions about the effects of sibling status on children are reflected in their perceptions of their own children. This was tested by selecting a sample of voluntary parents who attended a psychology course at an urban college in the mid-southern United States. Parents were asked to complete two adjective checklists; one for what they would expect from an only, firstborn, and lastborn child and the other for their expectations of their own children. In accordance with previous research conducted about this, this research study found that parents described their firstborn children in a more positive light and therefore expected more from them than from later-born children.  The key criteria I used to critique this study were: 1) Does the data attained in this study accurately explore the research question that is being posed? 2) Is there a minimum margin of error in the study design? 3) Can the findings of this study be applied in more general terms, or is it limited to the specific group tested upon?  The research question is: Does sibling status (age order) play a role in determining what parents expect from their children or the way they respond to or perceive their children?  The research question is conceptualized like so: The effect to which the expectations parents have of their children, and first-born, later-born, and only children in general, is evident based upon the adjective checklist. The study design is the degree to which parents attribute their children as well as hypothetical first-born, last-born, and only children as likeable, outgoing, obedient, unspoiled, and academic.  Mostly quantitative methods are used in order to collect the data for this research question. The answers parents gave on the questionnaires (adjective checklists) were rated and put on a number scale.  The findings of this research study agreed for the most part with previous studies. The birth order of the child greatly effected the way parents "rated them" and determined what they expected from the children. For example, parents of more than one child, tended to rate first-borns better than last-borns, and therefore (as shown in another study) expected more from them. They also saw the eldest child as the least spoiled.

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