Skip to main content Accessibility help

Physical, achievement and personality characteristics of Chinese children

  • T. Falbo (a1), D. L. Poston (a2), G. Ji (a3), S. Jiao (a3), Q. Jing (a3), S. Wang (a4), Q. Gu (a4), H. Yin (a4) and Y. Liu (a4)...


The physical, achievement, and personality characteristics of Chinese schoolchildren are evaluated. The results of two surveys of Chinese schoolchildren, conducted in Beijing and Jilin Province, are presented. In the Beijing sample, the differences between only children and others were small but statistically significant, with the only children having higher scores in achievement and physical size. In the Jilin Province sample, the differences between only children and others were also small but significant. These differences were found entirely in physical characteristics, with only children being smaller, perhaps because the only children in the Jilin sample were much younger than the non-only children. Analyses of the combined sample of Beijing and Jilin schoolchildren indicated that the only-child advantages in achievement were found among children from urban families, not rural peasant families. While significant differences in height and weight were found in all three samples, none of the results indicated a significant difference in the proportion of body fat. None of the analyses indicated that only children had undesirable personalities, as judged by teachers and mothers.



Hide All
Anon (1979) China news analysis. Population, 1163, 5.
Banister, J. (1987) China's Changing Population. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
Baskett, L. M. (1985). Sibling status effects: adult expectations. Dev. Psychol. 21, 441.
Bielicki, T. (1986) Physical growth as a measure of the economic well-being of populations: the twentieth century. In: Human Growth, Vol. 3. Edited by Faulkner, F. & Tanner, J. M.. Plenum, New York.
Blake, J. (1981) The only child in America: prejudice versus performance. Popul. Dev. Rev. 1, 43.
Cantor, N. & Mischel, W. (1977) Traits as prototypes: effects on recognition memory. J. Personal. social Psychol. 35, 38.
Ching, C. C. (1982) The one-child family in China: the need for psychosocial research. Stud. Fam. Plann. 13, 208.
Chua-Eoan, H. G. (1987) Bringing up baby, one by one: a single-child policy delivers millions of tiny tantrums. Time, December 7, 38.
Cohen, J. (1977) Statistical Power Analyses for the Behavioral Sciences. Academic Press, New York.
Crisp, A. H., Douglas, J. W. B. & Ross, J. M. (1970) Some developmental aspects of weight. J. Psychosomat. Res. 14, 313.
Croll, E. (1985) The single-child family in Beijing: a first-hand report. In: China's One Child Family. Edited by Kroll, E., Davin, D. & Kane, P.. St Martin's Press, New York.
Cronk, C. E. & Roche, A. F. (1982) Race and sex specific reference data for triceps and subscapular skinfolds and weight/stature2. Am. J. clin. Nutr. 35, 347.
Doby, J. T., Levin, M. L. & Mitra, S. (1980) An Experimental Investigation into the Intellectual, Physical, Psychological, and Social Consequences of Being Reared an Only Child. Final Report No. N01-HD-92802. Emery University, Atlanta.
Falbo, T., Ji, G., Jiao, S. & Jing, Q. (1986). Only Children in China. Texas Population Research Center Papers, No. 8.023. University of Texas, Austin.
Falbo, T. & Polit, D. F. (1986) A quantitative review of the only-child literature: research evidence and theory development. Psychol. Bull. 100, 176.
Lin, N. & Xie, W. (1988). Occupational prestige in China. Am. J. Social. 93, 793.
Page, E. G. & Grandon, G. M. (1979) Family configuration and mental ability: two theories contrasted with U.S. data. Am. educ. Res. J. 16, 257.
Polit, D. & Falbo, T. (1987) Only children and personality development: a quantitative review. J. Marr. & Fam. 49, 309.
Polit, D. F. & Falbo, T. (1988) The intellectual outcomes of only children. J. biosoc. Sci. 20, 275.
Poston, D. L. & Yu, M. Y. (1985) Quality of life, intellectual development and behavioural characteristics of single children in China: evidence from a 1980 survey in Changsha, Hunan Province. J. biosoc. Sci. 17, 127.
Ravelli, G. P. & Belmont, L. (1979) Obesity in 19-year old men: family size and birth order association. Am. J. Epidemiol. 109, 66.
Ross, L. (1978) The intuitive psychologist and his shortcomings: distortions in the attribution process. In: Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 10. Edited by Berkowitz, L.Academic Press, New York.
Thompson, V. D. (1974) Family size: implicit policies and assumed psychological outcomes. J. social Issues, 30, 93.
Tien, H. Y. (1983) China: demographic billionaire. Popul. Bull. 38, 1.
Tversky, A. & Kahneman, D. (1974). Judgment under uncertainty: heuristics and biases. Science, 185, 1124.
Van Den Berg, B. J. & Oechsli, F. W. (1980) Studies on the One-Child Family. Final Report No. N01-HD-82851. University of California, Berkeley.
Wang, S., Gu, Q., Yin, H. & Liu, Y. (1988) Shehui Renkouxue (Social Dem.), 8, 12.
Wilkinson, P. W., Pearlson, J. & Parkin, J. M. (1977) Obesity in childhood: a community study in Newcastle upon Tyne. Lancet, i, 350.
Wu, N. (1986) Dealing with the ‘spoiled brat’. Bei. Rev. 29, 19, 26.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed