Dubai/ Abu Dhabi/ Fujairah: Troubled pop star Britney Spears lost her child custody dispute last week with her ex-husband Kevin Federline.

A judge ordered Spears to temporarily surrender custody of the couple' sons - Sean Preston, two, and Jayden James, one - to her ex-husband.

Gulf News spoke to a cross-section of residents on whether children of celebrity parents were able to have a proper upbringing, and if it had any effect on the child.

While majority agreed that the upbringing of children ultimately depends on the amount of responsibility parents are willing to take, some argued that the children would automatically be affected negatively because of their unrealistic lifestyle and materialistic surroundings.

Raez Morella, 32, an executive assistant from the Philippines, said it was a shame that majority of children from celebrity families could not have the simple joy of being a child.

"They are exposed to an unnatural way of life and have to suffer paparazzi taking their pictures all the time, and that should not be a normal way of life for a child," she said. "They end up thinking that they can do whatever they want because their parents are famous."

Haider Saleh Mahdi, a 27-year-old office assistant from Iraq, agreed that children were more likely to become selfish and self-centred.

"I'm sure, however, that not all are of that type. Some famous people's children are well educated, well mannered and humble. In fact, their parents' fame could be a hindrance in some ways, or it could put too much pressure on them," he said.

Sara Aki, 22, a public relations officer from the UK, said a child's upbringing depends on parents' outlook towards life.

"Children's upbringing depends on the parents' lifestyle and so the effects vary as well. It depends on whether the children are exposed to paparazzi or not, and how protective their parents are towards them," she said.

Jamal Mohammad Hasan, 28, an Egyptian photocopy assistant, said children who grow up in a financially stable environment have opportunities which are often not available to other young people, although in the end it depends on parents' attitude.

"Everything depends on the attitude of the parents and how they bring up their children. It also depends on the nature of the celebrity status - fame or notoriety of parents could influence people's attitude towards children," he said.

Mario Boutayeh, 29, Lebanese financial consultant, shared the same views.

"Some parents do not have enough time to care for their children because they are preoccupied with their own life, and this would leave their children to feel lonely. But if they are responsible then they can afford the best schools for their children and take care of their children properly," he said.

Mosabeh Mohammad Elaian, 38, an Emirati education ministry official, said it is difficult to generalise. Thought there are drawbacks, circumstances vary, he said.

"The major drawback for many of these children is the short time they have with their often busy parents. Not having a close relationship with the parents can have major psychological impact."

Theresa Lagrimas, a Filipina mother of two, stressed the importance of close relationship between children and parents.

"Upbringing depends on parents, if there is compensation to the absence of a parent the child may be raised up properly. This, however, will leave a negative impact on the child who will favour or get closer to one parent," she said.

Angelo Fusco, 36, an Italian engineer, said: "In the past, celebrities were a good example for the younger generation but I don't think that's the case anymore because their lives are not healthy at all. You hear about celebrities changing partners all the time and are mostly alcoholics or on drugs due to the pressure they're under."