By Winnie Tam, Centre for University and School Partnership, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
In the aftermath of the one-child policy in China (1979-2016) having been implemented more than 30 years, some researchers found that only-children performed better academically. While most of these studies focused on only-children in urban China, Shi and colleagues conducted a study to investigate the sibling effect on rural children’s academic outcomes.
Families in rural China tend to have more children than their urban counterparts. Along with the national one-child policy, the “One-Son-Two-Kids” rule allowed rural couples to have a second child if the first one was a girl, due to cultural preference to have a son in the family. Families with one child only, therefore, were not common in rural areas.
The study was conducted in 2018. After a recruiting process, 156 grade 9 only-children from 102 classes were identified. For each only-child, one…
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