I have noticed that people with siblings have fewer friends on the average than those who are only children. Throughout my life, I have noticed that people with siblings are more insular and parochial in outook as they have only their family as associates while only children are more universalistic in outlook because they have friends from a variety of backgrounds.
What sweeping generalizations you make. So people with siblings are insular and parochial in outlook and only children are more universalistic? Are you taking a class in family dynamics that you keep posting threads here about sibling relationships? Exactly what data do you have to support these statements.
No reason for sarcasm. The man gave an opinion. If you have one, let's hear it.
IMO, gm, this is an interesting observation and probably not far from the mark. Families with larger groups might tend to be more comfortable with each other and may not seek out others. That's not to say they don't have friends and there is usually one or two in the group who is a black sheep, or the one who's different.
To couturepopcafe: What you have stated is true. The larger the family, the more insular the children are. Children from large families usually have little or no friends because they find solace within each other. I know people from large families, including my maternal relatives, who have no friends and only associate with each other. Studies also confirm this- only associating with their immediate circle often attest why children from large families have a very insular and parochial viewpoint as opposed to people from small families who have a wide variety of friends and are more universalistic in their outlook on many things.
This is based upon my personal experience with family members, friends, and associates. I have found out that people who are only children tend to reach out to people more. For instance, a former supervisor of mine, also an only child, stated that she had no problems making friends. She stated that wherever she went, she always made lots of friends which she has to this day.
On the other hand, many people with siblings tend to stay within themselves. Their only source of companionship and friendship are their siblings. The larger the family, the less outside friends a child has. Most people I know from large families do not have outside friends, their SIBLINGS are their FRIENDS and COMPANIONS. Many children from large families are quite insular and clannish to say the least. They are also the most unfriendly of all children and are quite uncomfortable relating to children outside of their immediate family circle. Well, there goes the atavistic premise that children from large families are more at ease at relating to other children than onlies. What a laugh!
the culture and the social setting of the family like the number of relatives to interact with, whether the parents are members of some circles (social like religious) in the neighborhood may affect the level of interaction and number of children's friends
Throughout my life, it is only children who have the most friends. This is because people with siblings have their main socialization with each other therefore they have little need for non-related and outside friendships. I have found people with siblings to be complete insular. I have yet to find a person with siblings who have a lot of friends. That is a rarity indeed.
Count me in as another sceptic, like Disturbia (and I'm an only child, too!)
I am an only child. This is why I said this. As an only child growing up, we onlies were the ones who had the most friends while those with siblings played with each other and had little or no friends. I knew people in elementary, junior, and high school who had siblings and they stayed among themselves. For example, one of my maternal cousins, who is one of six children, have NO friends- she only associates with her siblings. There are bases to my premise regarding this subject. People with siblings only associate within their sibling circle which results in their insular and parochial thinking while only children have non-related friends from varied backgrounds which cause them to be more broadminded and universalistic in their approach to life.
You're using a very small sample to base your assumptions on.
As I said, I too am an only child but at school I just had a few close friends. And I can understand that your cousin, with five siblings, might well associate with them rather than making new friends, because the chances are that of those five siblings, at least one or two will be close to your cousin's age so they will have forged a close bond while growing up - a bond that persisted into adulthood.
If you want to draw conclusions like the one you're drawing, you need to study hundreds if not thousands of groups of siblings, and make sure that you had enough data to cover (a) only children, (b) people with only one or two siblings, but close together in age, (c) people with one or two siblings but not so close together in age, and (d) people with three or more siblings. And make sure that you ask enough people to be able to find out whether there are any trends relating to birth order (eldest/middle/youngest). Ideally you should add things like gender, religion and social class into the mix as well.
So best make that "thousands" rather than "hundreds" then. At least if you want any meaningful answers to come out of it.
This does not apply only to some of my maternal cousins but to most people with siblings as well. People with siblings tend not to venture out of their sibling circle. It is almost incestuous in a metaphorical sense. It seems to be that the more siblings a person has, the more clannish, insular, and parochial he/she is. Only children,, on the other hand, are less clannish and more universalistic in their views of people because they have a greater variety of friends which means that they are exposed to more than one consensus. If you observe many people with siblings, they all have either the same or similiar viewpoints in life- that is because their main associations are with each other. They have no outside viewpoint to gather from-only the familial consensus.
From my own experience, as one of twelve children, I can categorically state that your comment is light years away from my experience. Each one of us have a large number of friends and acquaintances outside the family. Even though we are a very close knit family we look outside of our insular world for a richer life and that comes from having multiple friends. One thing I can say about coming from a large family is you always have someone nearby if you want to play a game, go to the movies or just have a chat over a cup of coffee. I can't image life any other way as I'm sure you can't imagine your upbringing any other way.
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