Myths about only children are nothing but that, myths. The negative connotation given to this birth order could, in fact, be given to anyone. The fact is, the human experience is different for all, but the main difference of growing up an only child is that in and of itself. You are the only child in your family. It is not better or worse, just different. At the end of the day, a large part of your personality is determined by the parental interaction and life experiences, not by ordinal birth order.
Advantages do exist. We gain undivided attention, lack of resource division, and no sibling rivalry. We enjoy statically scoring higher on tests and are given an advantage when we join the adult world as we have been treated as small adults most of our lives. We are very intense in our relationships with others and take those relationships seriously. We set high expectations for ourselves and those around us; constantly analyzing the actions and reactions of everyone and everything. Overall, it is a rewarding, yet exhausting experience. One I would never chose to live without.
My journey through studies, surveys, and articles has been quite fascinating. I now understand more about myself; especially my behaviors, feelings, and actions while growing up. Self-awareness is something I pride myself on and this experience has helped me gain insight I may never have accomplished on my own. It is fascinating to me what the angles different researchers thought of and the variety of studies to choose from. I could not stop researching and found myself reading articles I never even used just to satisfy my own curiosity. I learned more than I had ever expected.
In reference to community resources, I am not sure what more could be offered. I think it is wonderful that some many resources exist online, since most parents are probably researching online in the comfort of their own home. The community programs that do exist offer social settings for all children, allowing interaction and growth without prejudice while providing parents with daycare services. The more children interact with each other in their formative years, the more healthy and well-adjusted they will be through all life stages.
Research certainly needs to continue, and I am sure as long as humans exist research on humans will also exist. One day, I would love to devise studies and research various birth order implications. I think that teenage years are most awkward and that this is a realm worth exploring. Interpersonal and romantic relationships also hold a great deal of my interest. Most interesting, would be how different birth order positions interact with each other. When researching, I think it best not to single out a particular birth order for a study, but to do comparison research to have a basis to judge the results. I also believe that preconceived and unfounded connotations should not bias the researcher unless empirically proven. It is unfair bias that got only children the bad rap we have worked so hard to shake off.