Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Child development
Title Cognitive development of Chinese urban only children and children with siblings
Author(s)
Volume 67
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1996
Page numbers 387-395
URL http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/s/e/seb302/jiao.pdf
Abstract
JIAO, SHULAN; JI, GUIPING; and JING, QICHENG. Cognitive Development of Chinese Urban Only
Children and Children with Siblings. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 1996, 67, 387-395. 142 first- and
188 fifth-grade only children and children with siblings from the Beijing area were given 11
cognitive tasks to investigate the difference in cognitive abilities that may exist due to the special
conditions resulting from the Chinese 1-child family planning program. Overall superiority of
grade 1 only children over children with siblings appeared in cognitive abilities involving memory
processes, language skills, and mathematics. No differences existed for perceptual tasks.
However, the differences in cognitive abilities between only children and children with siblings
at grade 5 were less prominent than at grade 1. The cognitive superiority of these younger
Chinese only children over children with siblings may be explained by the fact that the fifthgrade
only children were bom before 1980 when the 1-child family planning program was not
strongly enforced. Parents may have tended to treat these children and children with siblings
alike. Incontrast, the first-grade only children were born at a time of government policy intervention
that resulted in special investment in these children by parents and elders, suggesting the
possibility of a time-related cohort effect.

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