Growing up without siblings doesn’t mean a child will struggle to make friends, according to new research, reports the BBC.
A US study of more than 13,000 11- to 18-year-olds found only children were able to make friends as easily as peers who had brothers and sisters.
Although an earlier study by the Ohio State University team had found poorer social skills in nursery children without a brother or sister, they found that youngsters catch up with their peers as they grow older.
“As family sizes get smaller in industrialised countries, there is concern about what it might mean for society as more children grow up without brothers and sisters. The fear is that they may be losing something by not learning social skills through interacting with siblings,” said Donna Bobbitt-Zeher, co-author of the study.
“I don’t think anyone has to be concerned that if you don’t have siblings you won’t learn the social skills you need to get along with other students in high school.
“Anyone who didn’t have that peer interaction at home with siblings gets a lot of opportunities to develop social skills as they go through school,” added Donna.