Behavior of Only Children in Urban and Rural Areas
Among our respondents in the city, there are 17% girls and the same number of boys who are the only children in the family. In the group of rural children we examined, we found fewer children: 16% among boys and 13% among girls. The only children in the city show fewer behavioral disorders than children who have siblings. We also noticed this phenomenon among rural children.
But in the city, the difference between singles and non-singles is statistically significant, and not in the countryside. These data show that only children are not more exposed to the wrong upbringing and deformation of their personality than children who have siblings, as is often thought.
Differences in Family Size between Urban and Rural Areas
A considerable number of our respondents live in relatively large families, where parents have three or more children. There are more families in the countryside (approximately 51%) with three or more children; there are fewer such families in the city (approximately 43%). This means that our families are still relatively large, and in the countryside they are on average larger than in the city.
Effects of Siblings on Children’s Mental Health in Urban and Rural Areas
When a city child lives in a large family, with two or more siblings, then he or she is more likely to exhibit behavioral disorders than only children, that is, those who have only one sibling. The difference in the frequency of mental disorders in both groups of respondents is statistically significant. Among rural children, we also observe a slightly greater tendency to behavioral disorder when the child comes from a large family than when he has only one brother or is single. But the difference is not statistically significant.
These data lead us to the conclusion that in a city, children with many siblings develop mentally worse than children who have only one sibling or are the only ones. In the countryside it is not so; there, mental disorders occur equally frequently in children from large as well as from small families.
Birth Status and Mental Health in Children
In the group of children we surveyed, we encountered a number of illegitimate children. These children are significantly more likely to exhibit mental disorders than children born in wedlock.