Alfred Adler was the first theorist to propose the idea that an individual’s birth order has an effect on various traits. He based his theory on the psychological findings of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, further developing their ideas on how the human mind functions.
In the book “Born to Rebel”, author Frank Sulloway explains in depth how birth order has a lasting effect on individuals, and furthermore, has an impact on what is called the “Big Five” personality traits which are attributed to all humans. Sulloway argued that the personality traits which people possess are directly correlated to the order of their birth in their family. The “Big Five” of psychology traits include openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism- all of which can be present on either side of the spectrum. For example, in regards to neuroticism, first born children are more likely to portray unstable characteristics as opposed to their younger siblings who may possess qualities reflecting a more stable personality. At the same time, Sulloway’s theory suggests that when dealing with the factor of openness to experience, the youngest children of families tend to seek more adventure and overall risks in all facets of life. In “Born to Rebel”, S...
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...ore and more parents are finding ways to counter the negative effects associated with the different birth orders.
"Birth Order." Child Development Institute. 2002. 05 Apr. 2009
DeBroff, Stacy. "What are the effects of "middle child syndrome"?" MSNBC. 14 Aug. 2006. 06 Apr. 2009
Esping, Amber. "Human Intelligence: Does Birth Order Affect Intelligence?" Indiana University. Fall 2004. 06 Apr. 2009
Haines, Cynthia. "Birth Order and Personality." Medicine Net. Feb. 2006. 05 Apr. 2009
Kluger, Jeffrey. "The Power of Birth Order." TIME. 06 Apr. 2009
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