First Advisor

Jessica Tipsord

Date of Award

Spring 6-16-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology and University Honors






only children, sibling dynamics, trauma, child development, only child syndrome


The goal of this thesis is to understand how having siblings could affect mental well-being in individuals. Within the framework of a literature review, I examined multiple aspects of mental well-being with regard to siblings: 1) if having siblings could be a precursor for behavioral or developmental patterns in children 2) how trauma affects only children and individuals with siblings differently 3) long-term effects of sibling count once children reached adulthood 4) biases from clinical perspectives and prevention programs to combat these. Upon conclusion, only children were often noticed to struggle with mental health and certain socialization, although researchers noted that these cases could be dependent on confounding factors such as class and socialization outside of the home. Additionally, long-term effects were noted in terms of mental well-being, as only children were more susceptible to struggling with their parent and/or parents passing away.