Siblings and Early Childhood Development : Evidence from a Population-Based Cohort in Preschoolers from Shanghai

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Saishuang Wu
  • Donglan Zhang
  • Jin Zhao
  • Xiaoning Sun
  • Lu Shi
  • Yuping Mao
  • Yunting Zhang
  • Fan Jiang

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number5739
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number9
Online published9 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Link(s)

Abstract

(1) Background: The current study aims to investigate the association between the presence of a sibling and early childhood development (ECD). (2) Methods: Data were obtained from a large-scale population-based cohort in Shanghai. Children were followed from three to six years old. Based on birth order, the sample was divided into four groups: single child, younger child, elder child, and single-elder transfer (transfer from single-child to elder-child). Psychosocial well-being and school readiness were assessed with the total difficulties score from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the overall development score from the early Human Capability Index (eHCI), respectively. A multilevel model was conducted to evaluate the main effect of each sibling group and the group × age interaction effect on psychosocial well-being and school readiness. (3) Results: Across all measures, children in the younger child group presented with lower psychosocial problems (β = −0.96, 95% CI: −1.44, −0.48, p < 0.001) and higher school readiness scores (β = 1.56, 95% CI: 0.61, 2.51, p = 0.001). No significant difference, or marginally significant difference, was found between the elder group and the single-child group. Compared to the single-child group, the single-elder transfer group presented with slower development on both psychosocial well-being (Age × Group: β = 0.37, 95% CI: 0.18, 0.56, p < 0.001) and school readiness (Age × Group: β = −0.75, 95% CI: −1.10, −0.40, p < 0.001). The sibling-ECD effects did not differ between children from families of low versus high socioeconomic status. (4) Conclusion: The current study suggested the presence of a sibling was not associated with worse development outcomes in general. Rather, children with an elder sibling are more likely to present with better ECD.

Research Area(s)

  • early childhood development, psychosocial well-being, school readiness, sibling

Citation Format(s)

Siblings and Early Childhood Development : Evidence from a Population-Based Cohort in Preschoolers from Shanghai. / Wu, Saishuang; Zhang, Donglan; Li, Xinyue; Zhao, Jin; Sun, Xiaoning; Shi, Lu; Mao, Yuping; Zhang, Yunting; Jiang, Fan.

In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 19, No. 9, 5739, 05.2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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