Document 55864

Cognitive Development of Chinese Urban Only
Children and Children with Siblings
Shulan Jiao, Guiping Ji, and Qicheng Jing
Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
JIAO, SHULAN; JI, GUIPING; and JING, QICHENG. Cognitive Development of Chinese Urban Only
Children and Children with Siblings. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 1996, 67, 387-395. 142 first- and
188 fifth-grade only children and children with siblings from the Beijing area were given 11
cognitive tasks to investigate the difference in cognitive abilities that may exist due to the special
conditions resulting from the Chinese 1-child family planning program. Overall superiority of
grade 1 only children over children with siblings appeared in cognitive abilities involving memory processes, language skills, and mathematics. No differences existed for perceptual tasks.
However, the differences in cognitive abilities between only children and children with siblings
at grade 5 were less prominent than at grade 1. The cognitive superiority of these younger
Chinese only children over children with siblings may be explained by the fact that the fifthgrade only children were bom before 1980 when the 1-child family planning program was not
strongly enforced. Parents may have tended to treat these children and children with siblings
alike. Incontrast, the first-grade only children were born at a time of government policy intervention that resulted in special investment in these children by parents and elders, suggesting the
possibility of a time-related cohort effect.
In 1971, China initiated a one-child family planning program that claimed to be one
of the most significant social experiments
ever attempted (Ching, 1982). A State Family Planning Commission was established;
legal and social measures were instituted to
proinote birth control. However, this family
planning program was not strongly enforced
due to the chaos caused by the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). The 1982 national census puts China mainland's population at 1.01 billion, amounting to 22.4% of
the world's population. In view ofthe threat
of China's population explosion, the Chinese government started a new campaign to
strongly implement the one-child policy in
the early 1980s. A new Marriage Law was
enforced in 1981, setting the minimum legal
marriage age to 20 for females and 22 for
males. It also stipulates that both husband
and wife have the obligation to take family
planning into practice (Jing, Wan, & Over,
1987). Notwithstanding the success of
China's family planning program, the 1990
national census still reveals a population at
1.13 billion, with an annual growth of about
16 million. It is expected that by 2050,
China's population should increase to more
than 1.6 billion people. It is estimated now
that in Chinese cities approximately 98% of
children in kindergartens (ages 3-6) are
from one-child families. In the lower primary grades (ages 6-9) and the higher primary school grades (ages 9-12), approximately 90% and 70%, respectively, are only
The one-child family movement has
also drastically altered the traditional Chinese family structure, which favored many
children in a family. Now the typical Chinese family is structured in a 4:2:1 fashion
(i.e., four grandparents, two parents, and one
child).^ With further implementation of
China's population planning program, the
number of one-child families is going to increase. The vast number of new-generation
only children has become a primary concern
of society. The psychology of only children
is one of the most popular topics of discussion among parents in China. The questions;
often asked are: Are only children intellectually better developed than children with siblings? What are the cognitive characteristics;
This study was supported by grant no. 88-1196-88 from the William T. Grant Foundation.
The authors wish to express gratitude to Professors Howard Gardner, Jinghe Liu, Paul Mussen,
and Harold Stevenson, who served as advisors to this research project. Appreciation is also
extended to Hongsheng Che and Zhuguang Er, who gave generous assistance in the carrying
out of this research. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Shulan Jiao,
Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 1603, Beijing 100012, China.
[Child Development, 1996,67,387-395. © 1996 by the Society for Research in Child Development Inc
All rights reserved. 0009-3920/96/6702-0030801.00]
Child Development
ofthese children? Policymakers are eager to
know the developmental consequences of
the state policy for decision-making purposes.
Since the implementation of the onechild family planning policy, Chinese studies of only children are increasing in number. A survey conducted in Beijing (Yang,
Kao, & Wang, 1980) on a sample of 1,741
children aged 3 to 15 years, 314 of whom
were only children, showed that only children were superior to other children of the
same age level in imagination, language
ability, imitation, and productive thinking.
In Zha's study (1983) on gifted children,
among those gifted children studied, over
one-fourth were only children.
Yet there are also reports that no differences exist in the cognitive abilities of only
children and children with siblings. In a
comparative study of cognitive reasoning in
only children and children with siblings,
Zha (1985) analyzed the analogical reasoning of 400 3-6-year-old children. The results
showed that there were no significant differences in pictorial and numerical analogy
scores between only children and children
with siblings, but there were differences related to different family and educational
backgrounds. In another study by Jiao, Ji,
and Jing (1986), 360 only children and children with siblings of different age levels
rated their peers on eight sociobehavioral
characteristics. The 4-6-year-old urban only
children had higher average scores on independent thinking than did children with siblings, whereas among the 9-10-year-olds,
the children with siblings had higher average scores. Falbo et al. (1989) studied the
physical, achievement, and personality characteristics of Chinese children in Beijing
and Jilin province. The results ofthe Beijing
survey suggested that only children had significant advantages in mathematics and language scores, especially among those in the
first grade. In recent years, although many
articles on only children appeared in China,
they were mostly published in popular magazines and newspapers. They offer mixed results, and it is difficult to draw conclusions
from these publications. In general, welldocumented scientific research on this important problem is still lacking.
Many studies in the West on intelligence have examined the effects of birth order and intelligence. Consistent and reliable
results about the intelligence scores of only
children are available (Falbo, 1984). The IQ
scores of only children fall between firstborns from small families and secondborns
from large families. Zajonc (1976) introduced the confluence model, proposing that
as the family size goes up, the intellectual
environment of the family goes down, because the progressively younger children receive less parental attention. Additionally,
in large families, older children become
pseudo-parents and thus become more intellectually developed. Only children do not
score as well as firstborns because they lack
a younger sibling to tutor. Recently, a metaanalysis of studies on the one-child family
(Falbo & Polit, 1986) indicated that only
children are in general not different from
children with siblings in personality characteristics. However, only children had significantly higher scores in intelligence and
achievement than children with siblings,
but the only-chiid advantage diminished as
the child grew older.
It should be noted that in the Western
research data, only children were more
likely to come from parents with a history of
marital disruption. Blake (1981) found that
66% of only children still lived with both
parents by age 16, whereas in two-child families 79% lived with both parents. The parents of only children were disproportionately separated by death and divorce,
leaving a higher percentage of only children
with their mothers than was the case for any
other birth order group. In contrast, Chinese
only children almost exclusively come from
two-parent families. Chinese only children
are a special outcome of Chinese state policy
in which unique political and social factors
are involved. Due to the great cultural differences between China and Western countries, the results of Western studies might
not be relevant to present-day China.
Hence, one cannot be confident in generalizing Western research conclusions to the
Chinese situation.
In order to clarify the important issue
of cognitive development of Chinese only
children and children with siblings, there is
a great need for additional studies of this
problem. Our hypothesis is that the cognitive development of Chinese only children
is more advanced than that of children with
siblings. The difference, if it exists, may be
due to intensive parental care, greater intellectual stimulation at home, and more interactions with adults. The present study is designed to test the above hypothesis by
examining children's performance on cognitive and problem-solving tasks.
Jiao, Ji, and Jing
Sampling of subjects.—The study was
conducted with 142 first-grade (average 8.1year-old) and 188 fifth-grade (average 12.3year-old) children in the Beijing area. Based
on the Beijing census published in 1984, 12
schools were randomly chosen from eight
districts in the Beijing area according to
their population distribution. Because economic and cultural backgrounds of families
vary in different parts of the city, this sampling procedure ensures a representative
sampling of the Beijing population. Due to
the fact that there is only a small number of
children with siblings in grade 1, all children with siblings were used as subjects
from several classes of grade 1 in each
school. The samples of only children were
randomly chosen from the same classes to
match approximately the number and sex of
children with siblings. The grade 5 subjects
were randomly selected from one to two
classes from each ofthe 12 schools, approximately six only children and six children
with siblings from each class, approximately
equally divided by sex. The birth category
and sex of grade 1 and grade 5 subjects are
shown in Table 1.
Children who always failed in their
school achievement tests, children rated by
teachers as intellectually inferior, or children who were diagnosed as having some
type of brain dysfunction were excluded
from the samples. Children from families approved by authorities to have a second child
were also excluded from the samples of children with siblings, since the first child usually was handicapped. About 1% ofthe children were excluded for these reasons.
Composition of children with siblings.—The 68 first-grade children with siblings have three types of backgrounds. First,
some children come from suburban areas
where the one-child policy was not strictly
enforced. These areas are now being included as districts ofthe Beijing municipality because of the rapid expansion of the
Beijing municipal area in recent years. Some
parents in these districts have laterborn children. Second, parents who had a firstborn
girl but wished to have a second child in the
hope that it would be a boy had a second
child despite the possibility of receiving
punishment. Parents of these children with
siblings are generally nonprofessionals (i.e.,
factory workers or individual business people), Third, among the 23 firstborns, six are
members of pairs of twins. The average age
difference between firstborns and secondborns in families of grade 1 children is
1.8 years. Among the 92 fifth-grade children
with siblings, the first- and secondborns in
their families had an average age difference
of 2.7 years. All ofthese children were born
before the one-child policy was strongly enforced. Of all the children with siblings studied, there were only six third-borns.
fathers.—Before the children were tested, a
questionnaire was distributed to their parents, including infonnation about family
structure, parents' professions, economic
and educational levels, and so on. In Chinese homes the father is more influential
than the mother (Ji, Zhang, & Wan, 1990),
so we therefore used the father's educational
level to represent the educational level of
the family. Table 2 shows the educational
level of the fathers of the children. Most of
Grade I:
Grade 5:
NOTE.—Numbers in parentheses are percentages.
Child Development
the fathers had received a senior high school
education; fathers of this educational level
have more only children than children with
siblings. The lower educational level (junior
high school) fathers have very few only children and are more likely to have children
with siblings. College level fathers had
slightly less only children than children
with siblings. The number of fathers in each
grade is not the same as the number of subjects, because some fathers did not answer
this item in the questionnaire.
Cognitive Tasks
A set of cognitive tasks developed by
Stevenson and his co-workers was adapted
to test the possible differences between only
children and chiidren with siblings in
Beijing. These tasks were developed to
study the cognitive performance of Chinese,
Japanese, and American children, and have
proved to have high degrees of reliability.
The reader may refer to Stevenson's paper
(Stevenson et al., 1985) for details. A brief
description of these tasks is given here.
Verbal memory.—Two short stories
were read to the subjects and questions were
then asked about the content of the story.
There were nine questions for grade 1 children, and 11 questions for grade 5 children.
This test was developed to measure children's ability to comprehend and remember
short meaningful text.
Auditory memory.—This task involved
memory for sounds of dijfferent durations.
The examiner tapped out a pattem of sounds
with a pencil shielded from the child's vi-
sion. Patterns consisted of long and short intervals (approximateiy 1.5 sec and 0.5 sec)
between taps. There were 13 patterns, from
very simple ones such as short-iong-long (SL-L), to more complex ones such as S-L-S-SL-S-S-L-S-S. The child was asked to repeat
the taps. If he or she failed on four successive items, testing was discontinued.
memory for numbers.—Lists of
randomly chosen numbers varying from four
to seven digits were used. No digit was repeated in a list, and no successive numbers
followed each other. Two lists of each ! e n ^
were presented. Practice trials were made
using three-digit lists, then tests were made
until errors occurred in two consecutive trials. The score was the number of successive
digits reproduced correctly.
Serial memory for words.—Lists varying from three to six words and four to six
words were used for grade 1 and gr^le 5
children, respectively. The length of each
successive Ust increased by one word. The
words used for first graders were nouns of
objects such as pencil, rabbit, and airplane.
Two lists of abstract nouns, such as peace,
curiosity, and satisfaction, were added for
the fifth graders. TTie test started with the
shorter series, and the length increased until
the child was unable to repeat two consecutive lists correctly. The score was the total
number of words in each list recalled in the
correct order.
Coding.—The code consisted of nine
paired elements; one element was a number
from 1 to 9, and the second, a simple figure
Grade 1:
Junior high school
Senior high school
Grade 5:
Junior high school
Senior high school
NOTE.—Numbers in parentheses are percentages.
Jiao, Ji, and Jing
consisting of straight and curved lines.
Nearly all figures required the detection of
spatial differences involving up-down or
left-right relations. Each test item consisted
of a symbol, below which the child was to
write the associated numeral. After being
guided through seven practice items, the
child was allowed 2 min to complete as
many of the test items as possible.
General information.—This test assessed general knowledge the child had acquired through everyday experience. Emphasis was on factual knowledge rather than
inferential reasoning. For example, questions such as "why oil floats on water" were
asked. The test ended when the child was
unable to answer four consecutive questions
Vocabulary.—Children were asked to
give definitions of a list of 25 words taken
from readers in elementary schools and popular books for children. The test ended
when the child was unable to define four
successive words correctly.
task was
adapted from the Thurstone Primary Mental
Abilities Battery. For each item, the child
was asked to select one of four figures that
fits into a target figure to complete a square.
Test figures for the first graders were simpler
than those for fifth graders. The first graders'
test consisted of two practice items and 12
test items. The child was asked to complete
as many figures as possible in 2 min. For
fifth graders, there were three practice
items, and the children were given 4 min to
complete as many of 21 figures as possible.
Mathematics test.—Items were constructed to tap concepts and skills used at
comparable grade levels. Test items included both computational and word problems typical of those found in children's
textbooks. For example, the foiiowing text
was read to the child: "There were nine
houses in a row; Zhang's house is the third
from the left. What order is it from the
right?" The test contained 70 test problems.
The experimenters were university students from Beijing Normal University who
spoke Mandarin, the standard dialect in
China, and had experience in psychological
measurement. They were carefully trained
in the administration of the tasks. Each experimenter was supervised during practice
trials until he or she was sufficiently skilled
to administer the tests correctly.
The tasks were administered individually in a classroom at the children's schools.
Before the testing began, the subject was instructed clearly about the requirements of
each task. Testing started only after the child
fully understood each task and had been
given practice trials. Tasks that involved language materials were read to the child to
avoid the possibility that failure to solve the
problems was due to poor reading ability.
The 11 tasks were presented in one of four
different random orders. A double blind procedure was used in the testing. The testers
were uninformed about the birth category of
the children, and the children were not told
the aim of the study.
Following directions.—The child was
asked to add new lines or figures on different
positions of test figures according to directions given by the experimenter. For example, the child was instructed to draw a circle
on the right side of the line. This test assesses a child's ability to judge directional
spatial relations.
We first conducted a multivariate analysis of covariance with father's education as
a covariate in order to test the hypothesis
that the cognitive development of only children is more advanced than that of children
with siblings. In our analysis, the dependent variables were the scores on each of the
cognitive tasks.
Perceptual speed.—This task was also
adapted from the Thurstone Battery. There
were 18 test items. The child was asked to
select one of four figures that would match
a target figure. The first graders' test items
consisted of line drawings of common objects and simple shapes. Test items for the
fifth graders included line drawings of more
complex shapes. First graders were given
1.5 min to complete as many items as possible, while fifth graders were given 2 min.
The results are shown in Table 3 with
adjusted means for father's education. The
multivariate analysis yielded three significant main effects and two significant interactions. At the multivariate level, significant
main effects were found for birth category
F(22, 598) = 1.98, p < .05; grade, F ( l l , 298)
- 135.55, p < .0001; and sex, F(ll, 298) ==
2.95, p < .001. These main effects were qualified by interactions involving birth category
and grade, F(22, 298) = 1.80, p < .05, and
grade and sex, F{11, 298) = 2.16, p < .05.
Child Development
Grade 1:
Verbal memory'''''
Auditory memory''''*'^
Serial memory—numbers^'''''^
Serial memory—words^'''
General information*'''^
Spatial relations''''^'^''*'^
Following directions'"
Perceptual speed^''
Grade 5;
Verbal memory^^
Auditory memory''-^-"
Serial memory—numbers*'''^
Serial memory—words*''
General information^'''^
Spatial reiations^-''''''^-^
Following directions^
Perceptual speed'^''
NOTE.—Figures in table are means adjusted for father's education.
' Indicates significant main effect of birth category.
'' Indicates significant main efFect of grade.
'• Indicates significant main effect of sex.
** Indicates significant interaction of birth category x grade.
^ Indicates significant interaction of birth category x sex.
f Indicates significant interaction of grade x sex.
Subsequent univariate analyses indicated that the birth category x grade interaction was found for auditory memory, F(2,
308) = 3.83, p < .05; serial memory for numbers, F(2, 308) = 3.21, p < .05; spatial relations, F(2, 308) = 4.67, p < .01; and general
information, F(2, 308) - 2.62, p < .07.
Scheffe contrasts among the means for fifth
graders indicated that for auditory memory,
serial memory for numbers, and general information, the three birth category groups
were not significantly different from one another. However, for first graders, the only
children had significantly higher scores than
firstborns and iaterborns on the three cognition tasks. In contrast, among fifth graders,
for spatial relations, the firstborn children
had significantly higher scores than only
children and Iaterborns; for first graders, the
three birth category groups were not sig-
nificantly different from one another (see
Table 4).
An interaction between grade and sex
was found for vocabulary, F(l, 308) = 6.29,
p < .05, Among first graders, for vocabulary,
boys (M = 26.03) had significantly higher
scores than girls {M ^ 20.72); however, for
fifth graders, no significant difference was
found between boys (M = 52.21) and girls
(M = 52.88). Additionally, in the univariate
analyses, a significant birth category x sex
interaction was found for spatial relations,
F(2, 308) = 3.21, p < .05, and a marginally
significant birth category X sex interaction
was found for auditory memory, F(2, 308) =
2.76, p < .065. Scheffe contrasts among the
means indicated that for spatial relations, the
three birth category groups {only children,
M -^ 7.74; firstborns, M = 7.48; Iaterborns,
Jiao, Ji, and Jing
Auditory memory:
Grade 1
Grade 5
Serial memoiy for numbers;
Grade 1
Grade 5
General information:
Grade 1
Grade 5
Spatial relations:
Grade 1
Grade 5
NOTE.—Means with different superscripts are significantly different
from each other at the p < .05 level.
M = 7.16) were not significantly different
from one another for girls; however, for
boys, the firstborns {M = 17.20) had significantly higher scores than Iaterborns (M ^
11.81), with only children (M = 13.19) not
significantly different from either group.
The univariate analyses also revealed
main effects for birth category on verbal
memory, F{2, 308) = 5.61, p < .01; serial
memory for numbers, F(2, 308) = 3.43, p <
.05; serial memory for words, F(2, 308) ^
3.26, p < .05; general infonnation, F(2, 308)
= 6.24, p < .01; and spatial relations, F(2,
308) = 3.90, p < .05. The main effects for
serial memory for numbers and spatial relations were qualified by the interactions discussed above. Planned comparisons of the
mean scores for the birth category main effects not involved in the interactions indicated that only children (M = 17.04) were
significantly higher than firstborns (M 16.17) and Iaterborns {M = 16.39) in verbal
memory; only children {M = 25.96) were
significantly higher than firstborns (M =
22.41) and Iaterborns (M = 23.82) in serial
memory for words; only children (M 41.59) had significantly higher scores than
firstborns (M = 34.74) and Iaterborns (M ^
38.71) in general information.
Univariate analyses also indicated that
the main effect of sex was due to the girls
(M = 42.13) having higher scores than boys
(M = 40.33) in coding, F(l, 308) - 5.19, p
< .05; boys (M = 41.19) having higher
scores than girls {M = 37.84) in general in-
formation, F(l, 308) - 6.43, p < .01; and
boys (M = 41.7) having higher scores than
girls (M - 38.82) in vocabulary, F(l, 308) 5.32, p < .05. The latter effect was qualified
by the grade x sex interaction discussed
above. It can be seen that boys showed better scores on some tasks that involved language ability. There was also a significant
effect of sex on spatial relations, F(l, 308) --^
6.18, p < .05, but this effect was qualified
by the aforementioned birth category x sex
Finally, a main effect of grade was found
for each of the variables, ail Fs(l, 308) > 30,
p > .001, but some of these effects were
qualified by the interactions discussed
The most striking result of this research
was that only children fared markedly better
in cognitive abilities than their sibling peers
for first-grade children, but the difference
between only children and children with
siblings is not very prominent for fifth-grade
children. The superiority of intellectual development of Chinese only children may be
regarded as an outcome of the Chinese family environment. Chinese children live in a
specific time in Chinese history marked by
the implementation of a state family planning program. The Chinese only child is an
outcome ofa policy intervention that results
in a context that is quite different from the
ChUd Development
one in which the Western only child is born
and raised.
Within the present sample, the parents
of Chinese only children generally had more
education than parents of children with siblings. The Chinese only child occupies a
dominant place in the home, becomes the
center ofthe family's attention, and is under
psychological pressure from parents and elders who fear that their only child may not
be successful in the future. The only child
is provided with better learning conditions.
For example, parents buy more books for
them and give them intensive tutoring.
Adults spend more time with thear only
child, and hence the child participates in
more interactions. Such attention and stimulation tend to advance the development of
language abilities, which may be seen as a
key to the development of other cognitive
abilities. In our study, we did not find birth
order differences for children with siblings.
The greater difference in cognitive abilities between only children and children
with siblings for first graders relative to fifth
graders may indicate a transient superiority
of younger only children. As children grow
older, the superiority of only children is attenuated by the process of schooling. This
has been shown in the quantitative review
of the only child literature by Falbo and
PoUt (1986). The only children's advantage
as measured by standardized IQ test scores
diminished as children grew older. To confirm this interpretation in our sample, one
would have to conduct a longitudinal follow-up study of our first-grade children
when they enter higher grades.
From a sociohistorical perspective, a
more plausible explanation of this phenomenon may be that the fifth-grade children
were born before 1980, while the first-grade
children were born after 1980, that is, before
and after a time when the Chinese one-child
family planning policy was strongly enforced. Few parents of the pre-1980-bom
children expected that their first child would
be the only and last child; most parents expected to have a second or diird child, which
was never realized. These only children
were probably treated in their early years by
parents and others in ways similar to children with siblings. This may explain the
smaller difference between the fifth-^ade
only children and children with siblings.
The cognitive superiority of younger Chinese only children over their sibling peers
as compared with older only children and
children with siblings may indicate a timerelated cohort effect.
China has a long cultural history, and
Confucian ideology is deeply rooted in the
minds of Chinese people. It was considered
a fortune for a Chinese family to have many
children, particularly many sons. The ancient traditional Chinese patrilineal family
structure stressed the succession ofthe family by the male child. If one or more daughters were bom, the family still longed for
another son. From our questionnaire, 80% of
Chinese urban parents hoped to have two
children in the family, and some even hoped
for three or four children. The current onechild family planning program runs contrary
to this traditional belief. The parents of the
post-1980-bom children are fully aware that
their first child is their only and last child.
Many of these parents are holders of the
One-Child Certificate requiring them not to
have a second child and entitling them to
special benefits frorn the government. The
conflict between political and social norms
may have led parents to pay extraordinary
attention to Aeir only children and to provide them with an enriched environment
that greatly facilitated their cognitive development.
It should be noted that the fifth-grade
children's parents have an average age of
42.29 years for fathers and 40.24 years for
mothers, meaning that the parents were born
in the early 1 9 ^ s . Thus it was at the time
of China's Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)
when these parents should have been attending senior high school or college. However, most Chinese students were deprived
ofthe opportunity of having a proper education during the Cultural Revolution. This
may have caused parents of this generation
to compensate for their lost aspirations by
devoting more attention to their children in
the hope that they, whether only children
or children with siblings, may have a better
education. In our questionnaire to the parents of the flfth-grade children, 78% of the
95 only children's parents and 70% ofthe 92
sibling children's parents had expectations
that their children should have a college education. To realize this goal, it is important
for Chinese children to enter one of the
"key" schools in the early years. Once a
child has entered a key school, it means that
he or she may eventually enter a key university, which in turn is important for the person's future career. Hence, parents may
view it as necessary to strengthen individual
tutorship at home, to send children to partic-
Jiao, Ji, and Jing 395
ipate in extracurricular activities, or even to
employ teachers for special lessons at home
to promote their children's academic
achievements. This may be another social
reason why fifth-grade only children and
children with siblings had similar scores.
In closing, we would like to offer some
final comments on the sex differences that
were revealed in our study. The results
showed that boys obtained higher scores in
general information at both grades and vocabulary in the first grade. Western studies
have shown that boys obtain better scores
than girls in tests of mathematics and spatial
ability, and girls obtain better scores in vocabulary (Hoffman, Paris, Hall, & Shell,
1989). None of the studies has successfully
demonstrated a biological basis for a sex difference in cognition. We maintain that the
sex differences in our study were mainly
caused by the family and social environment. In modern China, the implementation
of the one-child family planning policy has
placed the son in a special position to be the
hope of the family and the carrier of progeny. Undoubtedly, parents and grandparents
in the family are concerned more about the
academic success of boys than girls. This
may explain the superiority of boys over
girls in general information at both grades
and vocabulary in the first grade.
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