Author: Yasuo Kojima
To examine the effect of birth order on the period at which preschool children begin to receive less direct care from adults, a questionnaire was given to 149 Japanese mothers with two children. They answered whether or not each of their children interacted with a parent or another adult during 4 situations in daily life (having a meal, wearing/changing clothes, taking a bath, and falling asleep). Logistic regression analyses revealed that birth-order effects were responsible for the time-point at which children became self-reliant while having a meal, wearing/changing clothes, and falling asleep even after controlling for other family variables including the age of the children, gender combination of the siblings, age-spacing between the siblings, family structure (nuclear family or extended family), and mother’s occupation. The findings are discussed with reference to cultural background and differences between older and younger siblings with regard to their social environment.
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