In any case, there's no reason to think that the results would be similar for children in the United States, she said. In China the only child grows up with different expectations, Falbo said, with Chinese authorities emphasizing that "these kids have to be the best possible. Most Americans want their kid to be happy; they're not aiming for a world-class child of some sort."
Careful studies done elsewhere that look for certain qualities in the only child find that "on average, they're pretty much like everybody else," she said.
Science writer Malcolm Ritter in New York and AP researcher Yu Bing in Beijing contributed to this report.
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