Single Child Family and Adolescent Behaviour Pattern: A Sociological Analysis
Adolescence is a time of major developmental changes in children and of significant transformations and realignment in family relations. Perhaps adolescence is a distinctive and universal period of physical, social, cognitive and sexual maturation, but its exact form or expression depends on specific conditions existing in a particular time and culture. (Lesko: 1996). Thus the changes associated with adolescence are affected by variations in intra familial and extra familial factors, such as the marital relationship, economic and social resources, and family structure. Demographic changes have altered the structure of modern family. Empirical evidences indicate that relations in all modernizing societies are changing in the direction of nuclear families (Goode: 1963). The changing social conditions helped to create an atmosphere that compelled couples to opt for smaller families and thus fertility rate continues to decline in Kerala. In earlier period, families had large number of children and they socialized as a group pulsating with interaction. Siblings formed the first play group in the family. Socialization within small family group is likely to result in new ways of interaction and patterns of behavior with significant consequences upon the lives of children. Single Child Family presents a typical small family structure in the present society with enormous scope for sociological study. Since adolescence has been described as a transition stage between childhood and adulthood and a period of preparation for adult living, study of the behavior pattern of the adolescents from single child families is expected to reveal significant facts and findings.