ARE BIG OR SMALL FAMILIES BETTER?
(P1) One great big happy family may not be a good idea.
(P2) A new study suggests that the more children a family has, the less likely those children will have a good life.
(P5) They were able to measure parental ENGAGEMENT with children, such as time spent with each child.
(P6) They found that in families with more children, parents engaged with each child less. This CORRESPONDED with higher chances of poor outcomes for those children.
(P7) The effects were different for girls and boys. Whereas girls typically saw a larger negative effect on COGNITIVE abilities, boys had worse behavioral outcomes.
(P8) The researchers found that children didn’t grow out of the negative effects over time.
(P9) “The negative effects are not temporary; they get worse AS TIME GOES ON,” they said.
(P10) Though the researchers warn that further study would be needed, the CORRELATIONS between the number of children and negative life outcomes were significant.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Was your own family big or small? Which do you think is better?
- How many children would you like to have?
- Most couples nowadays seem to want two children – one girl and one boy if possible. Why is two considered the ideal size?
- Psychologists say that children compete for parental attention and resources. Have you ever experienced or observed this?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Parental investment
- As time goes on