17/08/2010 11:03 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Research Reveals 'Only' Children Are Not Lonely

Research undertaken at Ohio State University has revealed that being an only child does not make youngsters lonely or unable to make friends, or, as social stereotyping often leads us to believe, spoiled or selfish.

Researchers surveyed children aged between 12 and 18 from over one hundred American secondary schools in a bid to find out what made kids popular.

The pupils were asked to list 10 children they classed as friends, five of each sex. Whilst those with the most nominations were obviously the most popular, the results averaged out with most participants receiving five nominations each. Despite many parents worrying about 'only' children finding it hard to mix, or form friendships at school, lone children were found to be just as popular as those with siblings.

The survey also showed that class, age of parents, race, or coming from a single parent family had no bearing on a child's popularity.

The University's spokesperson, Dr Bobbitt-Zeher said: 'In every combination we tested, siblings had no impact on how popular a student was among peers.'

Previous research from the university had revealed that only children found it hard to make friends on joining pre-school.

What do you think?
What are the downsides to being an only child?
Has your lone child found it hard to make friends?