Birth Order

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Dating all the way back to the late 1800’s, Birth order has been studied thoroughly. An incredible amount of psychologist and doctors have studied how birth order, or a person’s rank by age among his or her siblings, can affect a child’s personality. Researchers find it difficult to find conclusions due to the fact that it is hard to establish a control group that has controlled variables. Experts say that “different social status, location of the family, and size of the family can create confusion and affect the quality of conclusions” (Hartshone par. 2).

The first study done was by Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychiatrist born in 1870-1937. Adler argued that “birth order can leave an indelible impression on an individual’s style of life” (Voo Par. 2). A child’s “style of life” is one’s habitual way of dealing with the tasks of love, friendship, and work. Alfred Adler’s study concluded that birth order can affect all aspects of the developing child. According to Adler, “First-borns are forcefully taken off their throne when the second child comes along, which could create lasting controversy between them. He said, “The younger children may be pampered and spoiled” (Haines Par. 3). This may leave an effect on their later personalities. He also wrote about how other things should be considered in regards to the birth order outcomes such as the number of years between the birth of the oldest, middle, and youngest child. Experts have found that each child, depending on birth order, has certain tendencies.

Nature vs. Nurture has much to do with the way a child’s personality will be formed. “Certainly, many individual traits and tendencies among brothers and sisters are the products of a unique arrangement of genes (Renkl Par. 2).”...

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...nil.” (Education Par. 6) They did however, say that the only study which did show birth order effects apparent were the ones that were judged by their parents or siblings. The researchers were not the ones to find the effects. Therefore, this made the study result in there not being effects on birth order. This is just one example of how birth order is a very disputing and controversial study going on.

In conclusion, birth order is indeed studied very thoroughly. Birth order can be the result of a unique arrangement of genes, or it can be the way you were raised and the environment you grew up in. Birth order may not even affect your personality at all! Psychologist and doctors will continue to work on new experiments and studies. New information is released all the time. There is no doubt we will have a much better understanding of birth order in the future.

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