When an infant is born determines in large part the emotions of his or her parents and relatives. Moreover, whether or not the infant is the first child, has older siblings, or is the youngest child to be born to the family impacts the environment he or she is to grow up in. These three different scenarios are descriptive of birth order. A persons rank by age among his or her siblings is called birth order (Sulloway, 2001). Birth order thus determines the environment into which a child is born and the responsive and adaptive responses of the child. This cycle of interaction extends all the way up to adulthood (Stewart, Stewart, & Campbell, 2001). Thus, one can reasonably infer that birth order determines the relatively constant pattern of personality observed in individuals. Birth order therefore significantly affects the personality of the individual.
‘Birth order theory can help explain why children raised in the same family environment with a strong genetic relationship can have such different personalities’ (Drysdale, 2011). The birth order theory says that ‘first-borns are leaders, the drivers and the responsible type. They love to feel in control and feel uncomfortable with surprises or feeling out of their depth. They are conservative in their outlook’ (Grose, 2013). The personality theory says that last-borns are majorly different to first-borns in their characteristics and traits. It states that last-borns are ‘the
Another issue associated with birth order is intergenerational parenting. These theory states that that the behavior exhibited by parents’ when treating their kids, will later be seen when a new generation of children is born. From 1975 to 2010 R.B Zajonc did a study to find out the correlation between the effect of family size and personality traits exhibited in children. He concluded that the larger the family, the more likely the children where to exhibit immature behaviors and less intellectual capacity when compared to children who come from small families. This raises the question, “Is this a reason for parents to have less children?”
Many people believe that birth order is what effects them, and their children's personality and behavior. The first borns are the natural born leaders of the siblings and take on responsibility; they are adult pleasers, high achievers, and very organized. While these all are good labor market qualities; does it actually take effect in real life? IZA Press a German newsroom gives evidence to why this does take effect, “...first-born children are almost 30 percent more likely than third-borns to be top managers, an occupation which tends to require higher non-cognitive abilities.” This is evidence saying that there is a small chance
There are many theories about how an individuals’ personality develop or how different characteristics and traits are formed in people. Psychiatrist Alfred Adler was the first person to suggest that the order a person was born in had a profound effect on the development of his/her personality. He called his idea the Birth Order Theory. Adler’s work on this theory cover the oldest child, commonly referred to as the first-born, as well as, the middle, youngest, and only children. The work of other experts in the field have expanded on his theory to include multiplies (twins, triplets, etc.), step-siblings, siblings with disabilities, and siblings with more than a five years gap. So according to the Birth Order Theory, how does a person’s order of birth contribute to their personality, and what are the commonly shared characteristics in each birth position? Are there other factors that can contribute or influence an individual’s personality development in relation to the Birth Order Theory that needs to be considered? If so, than how accurate is the theory really? I will attempt to answer these question.
For many years, the correlation between birth order and other characteristics has been studied. This includes intelligence, personality traits, romantic relationships, career choices, etc. It is shown in numerous research that a child's birth order in their family affects how they experience life and how they develop their self characteristics. Multiple people believe that first born will have entry to more resources and more attention from parents, whereas the second, third and so on born children will have to share this attention and resources with the rest of their siblings. More attention and better resources could be seen to result in a better education, and more encouragement during development.
At the intersection of psychology, sociology and biology lies a rich subject for exploration: birth order and its implications on an individual’s personality. In the past, research has identified trends and tendencies linking personality to birth order, the ranking of siblings within a family. Even though siblings within the same family have the same parents, the interactions with those parents will differ due to innate or genetic differences between the siblings. As such, their experiences within the family unit can be varied and this can affect their psychological development. Through the analysis of academic performance, parenting expectations, and social behaviors, once can see that birth order has a significant bearing on one’s personality.
There are other factors that impact each sibling such as physical circumstances that include income of the parents and the residents of their community. Emotional stability plays a large part in the development of each person, examples include well adjusted parents, parental experiences and the career of the parents. For instance, what decade and country you were born in and the economy of that country also plays an important role. All of these factors can determine what type of person that child will become. In a large part, birth order and gender determine how other people in your family react and treat you. It also determines your self-image and how you react and treat others inside and outside of your family.
The typical personality of the oldest child is driven, authoritative, and stubborn. Typically, parents are able to put all of their time, attention, and money into the first child because there is only one of them to take care of and support. In return, this means that the child was always held accountable for mistakes, taught how to do tasks the right way, and given countless hours of attention/love in order to boost their confidence and raise them “right.” As families grow, parents tend to use their firstborns as role models for their younger siblings, which can be a lot of pressure. In addition, the oldest child is typically held accountable for more chores and responsibilities because their parents are spread so thin. For example, many older siblings are responsible for babysitting their younger brothers and sisters, so that their parents can go grocery shopping or pay bills. In return, this lack of time, attention, and love not only shapes the fi...
The study of birth order began over a century ago with Sir Francis Galton. A nineteenth century British anthropologist, geographer and statistician--- who believed that human species was ultimately improvable. In his research, he concluded that first born and only born children become well known scientists (Kluger, 2011). His findings resulted from the the fact that the nation still followed Primogeniture, when the first born son inherits the family’s fortunes. In today’s society, several families still put most, or all of, their first born son on a pedestal compared to their other children. Shortly after Galton’s discovery, Alfred Alder and Frank Sulloway came along and decided to take a deeper look into the relationship between a child’s birth order and their personality.
Sigmeund Freud was the first psychotherapist to say: "a child's position in the sequence of brother and sisters is of very great significance for one course of his later life" (Richardson 12). One's birth order position (whether born first, second, last, etc.), one's sex (male or female), and the sex of one's siblings affects the kind of person one becomes. People often say they can't understand "how people from the same family can be so different". What they do not realize is that each sibling is born into a different family. Each new child needs to create a unique identity separate from the others. However this new identity is created within the context of those who are already there. The people in a family change in many ways between the birth of each new child. Many variables impact on each sibling. These include the physical circumstances in which a family finds itself, (ie. location, income, residents), the emotional stability of the family, (ie. well adjusted parents, parental experience, settled career), and lastly the state in which they find themselves, (ie. decade, wartime, country). These variables mean that each child will be treated differently by parents and siblings and this is done usually unintentionally. One must remember that birth order does not determine the basic values of a person or the person's value to society. It affects social interactions more than attitudes and ethnical stances. Your birth order and sex determines in a large part how other people in your family react to you and treat you which in turn influences what you think about yourself and how you react to and treat others inside and outside the family.
The term birth order refers to the order in which siblings are born in a family. The positions of birth order are generally put into the categories of first born, middle, youngest, or only child. Alfred Adler was the first psychologist to delve into the idea of birth order affecting personality. He advocated the idea that parents’ responses to their children are altered by the order of each child’s birth into the family. Since Alder’s research, over 1,700 journal articles and other dissertations have been written about birth order and its relationship to a wide variety of psychological topics (Dahl, 1). From 1976 to the end of the twentieth century, researchers have conducted...
The results were, later born from 2-child families were more external than larger size families and first born and only child from 2-child families; only child and first born were more socially responsible than later born; only child and later born were less rigid than first born; and only female subjects manifested higher need for approval compare to
Adler theorized that the order of our births is directly related to our personalities. He argued that birth order could leave enduring marks on an individual’s life style, especially in the way we deal with tasks of life such as careers, friendship and relationships. For example, the first-born will be the object of the parents’ affection-until they are “dethroned” by the second sibling. Because he/she is the first-born, parents will inflict stricter rules, standards and values onto them, causing them to strive to become perfectionists. First born carve out a niche within the family, upholding the “parental status quo” in their efforts to secure parental investment (Michalski & Shackelford, 2002). Other personality traits include: assertive, dominant, ambitious, responsible, conservative, and constantly worried about making mistakes. Some first-borns tend to pursue careers in more intellectual jobs, jobs that require higher education, such as medicine, engineering or law. Oprah, Bill Cosby and most US Presidents like George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are prime examples of first-born.
Due to myriad tests, surveys, and experiments conducted over the past 150 years (Eckstein & Kaufman, 61), it has been found that children of particular positions in the birth order tend to hold particular personality traits. According to the findings of Dr. Daniel Eckstein and Dr. Jason A. Kaufman, oldest children are most likely to be high achievers who thrive academically, have high motivation, and take on leadership roles both as children and as adults (72). Middle children are often the most friendly and outgoing, as well as the most well-behaved. However, they also typically feel the most out of place in their families and tend to primarily search for success in areas in which their older siblings are not active (Eckstein & Kaufman, 72). Youngest children are typically the most artistic, empathetic, and agreeable among their siblings, though they are also the most likely to rebel, develop addictions, and suffer from mental illness (Eckstein & Kaufman, 73). Only children are often the most independent, most likely to attend college, and feel the greatest need for success, though they also tend to be the most selfish and behaviorally deviant (Eckstein & Kaufman, 72). While there are, of course, many exceptions to these stereotypes, these personality summaries have been shown-- with a wealth of scientifically-based evidence to support them-- to be the most typical for their