Siblings, Birth Order, and Cooperative-Competitive Social Behavior: A Comparison of Anglo-American and Mexican-American Children

George P. Knight, Spencer Kagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several researchers have suggested that the consistently found Anglo-American/ Mexican-American difference in cooperative-competitive social behavior is at least partly a result of the relatively larger Mexican-American family size. To test that hypothesis, 126 Anglo-American and 63 Mexican-American children were administered the Social Behavior Scale and their mothers were interviewed to determine the number of siblings and the ordinal position of the child. The results revealed cultural, age, and sex differences similar to those obtained in previous studies, and indicated that the Mexican-American children did indeed have more siblings and differed significantly in birth order compared to the Anglo-American children. However, the results did not demonstrate a significant relation between cooperative-competitive social behavior and the number of siblings or birth order; and after statistically controlling for the number of siblings and birth order, the cultural, age, and sex difference in cooperative-competitive social behavior remained statistically significant. The results are discussed in terms of alternative explanations of the observed cultural difference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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