I recently came across a study that researched whether or not having many children would be a risk factor for your kids to have behavioral and emotional problems. The goal of this research was to study the prevalence of behavioral and emotional problems among children from different family types, number of siblings, and birth order. The study found that in general behavioral problems were more common than emotional problems and boys tended to have more behavioral problems than girls. Boys living in families that didn’t have two parents were at risk for “psychiatric disturbance”. And girls in single or no-parent families were at a higher risk of emotional problems. “Only children” were found to have the most behavioural problems, whereas children in large families had the fewest. (Among these large families, there were fewer cases of the eldest having behavioural problems than the younger children.)
So, the study concluded that having two parents and being the oldest seemed to be the best factors of protecting children from behavior disorders. But certainly, having a large number of kids didn’t negatviely influence behavior and emotional problems. Of course, I feel that this is based on the fact that these large families had adequate income to provide for all the children’s needs. Perhaps if these larger families didn’t have the appropriate income to cover all the children’s essential needs, these numbers would vary.