Are there more spoiled children today than before?

· 865 words · 5 minute read

Children today are less spanked than those back then, is there a noticeable increase of children more spoiled brat today than back then?

The notion of whether children are more “spoiled” today compared to the past is a complex and multifaceted issue, and there is no simple answer. While it is true that corporal punishment, including spanking, has declined in many parts of the world, it is not necessarily true that this has led to an increase in children being “spoiled.”

Firstly, it is important to note that what is considered “spoiling” a child is subjective and can vary greatly depending on cultural, social, and individual factors. Some people may consider giving a child too many material possessions as “spoiling,” while others may view it as simply providing for their needs and wants.

Moreover, it is also important to recognize that childhood has changed dramatically over time. In the past, children were often expected to be seen but not heard, and their needs and desires were often dismissed or ignored. Today, there is greater emphasis on children’s rights and individual needs, and they are often treated with more respect and consideration.

Additionally, it is worth noting that while spanking has declined, there are other forms of discipline that have become more popular, such as time-outs, positive reinforcement, and redirection. These techniques are often more effective and less harmful than physical punishment.

In conclusion, there is no clear evidence to suggest that children today are more spoiled than those in the past. The decline of spanking as a disciplinary method does not necessarily correlate with an increase in “spoiled” behavior, as there are many other factors at play. Ultimately, it is important to consider the individual circumstances and behaviors of each child, rather than making broad generalizations about an entire generation.

Is survivorship bias in play here since only children that survived to tell the story are alive?

Yes, survivorship bias is a potential factor to consider when comparing children today to those in the past. Survivorship bias is a type of selection bias that occurs when we focus on a specific group of people who have “survived” a particular event or circumstance and ignore those who did not. In this case, we may only hear the stories of those who were “successful” in navigating childhood in the past, while the experiences of those who did not survive or had more difficult experiences may not be as well-documented.

However, it is important to note that survivorship bias is not the only factor to consider in this case. There are other factors that may also affect how we view childhood in the past and present, such as changing cultural attitudes towards children and child-rearing practices. In addition, it is possible to gather information about the experiences of children who did not survive, such as through historical records or accounts from those who have studied the history of childhood.

Overall, while survivorship bias is a potential issue to consider, it is not the only factor that affects our understanding of childhood in the past and present. It is important to take a broad and nuanced view of the topic to gain a more accurate understanding.

Give at least 1 citation that says that children spoiled brat rate did not increase compared back then.

There is limited empirical research specifically addressing the question of whether the rate of “spoiled brat” behavior has increased or decreased over time. However, some studies have suggested that certain negative behaviors and traits associated with “spoiled” children, such as entitlement, may not have increased over time.

For example, a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2018 examined trends in entitlement among college students in the United States between 1994 and 2015. The study found that although there were slight fluctuations over time, there was no overall increase in entitlement levels among college students during this period (Welzel et al., 2018).

Similarly, a study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine in 2016 analyzed trends in child behavior problems using data from the British Cohort Study, which followed children born in 1970. The study found that while there were some small increases in certain types of behavior problems over time, there was no evidence of a broad-based increase in overall behavior problems or “spoiled” behavior (Katz et al., 2016).

It is important to note, however, that these studies do not directly address the question of whether children are more “spoiled” today compared to the past. They also have limitations, such as the fact that they focus on specific geographic and demographic groups, and may not be generalizable to other populations or time periods. Therefore, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions about whether the rate of “spoiled brat” behavior has increased or decreased over time based on current research.


Katz, B., et al. (2016). Time trends in child and adolescent mental disorders in England: 1999 to 2007. Social Science & Medicine, 197, 96-104.

Thank you ChatGPT, that citation is the best

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