Birth Order and Character Development: the Only Child

Story Empire

Hello SE friends, Gwen with you today. Over these last several months, we’ve considered birth order traits as another possibility for developing our fictional characters. We’ve reviewed firstborns, middle child, and lastborns. Today the focus is the only child.

As a quick review, birth order theory is not chiseled in stone. Many factors affect personal characteristics. But, as writers, we’re free to generalize and use the characteristics as we wish in our stories. So, let’s look at the only child.

There’s considerable focus on the only child these days, because the one-child family unit is growing exponentially. According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of one-child families doubled between 1976 (11%) and 2015 (22%). And today approximately 42% of families have a single child. The U.S. Census Bureau claims single-child families are “the fastest growing family unit in the nation.”

Though the explosion of one-child families…

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