News > The lifelong effects of 'the favourite child'

The lifelong effects of 'the favourite child'

24/08/2023 10:20 PM | Click to read full article

Research suggests that parental favouritism is surprisingly common – and rather than being just a quirk of family life, can actually be very harmful. It occurs in around 65% of families and has been identified and studied across many different cultures. It can damage children's wellbeing across the lifespan, from their childhood into middle age and beyond. It is considered such an important factor in a range of emotional problems that psychologists have a name for it: "Parental Differential Treatment", or PDT.