The Effects Of Birth Order
What would people think if a complete stranger could tell personality traits of someone only knowing the order of their birth? “Birth order refers to the order a child is born in their family: birth order is often believed to have a profound and lasting effect on psychological development” (Wikipedia). Birth order has great effects on children, and it is seen especially in firstborn, middle born, and last born children. It is an interesting concept that will be explored in more depth in this paper. First, consider some of the characteristics seen in firstborn children. Some of the traits seen in first born children include: perfectionist, reliable, list maker, well-organized, critical, serious, scholarly, seek approval, conservative, and law-abiding (Lehnardt). They are also typically bad at delegating. Researchers suggest that firstborn are more highly motivated than other or later-born children (Lehnardt). Firstborns are also more likely to seek help and are self-critical. “Firstborns are more likely to make at least $100,000 more annually than their siblings” (Lehnardt). Researchers say firstborn are generally higher motivated than others. In addition, “firstborns tend to score higher on IQ tests and typically get more education than their brothers and sisters” (Lehnardt). However, in life, there are exceptions to these characteristics and features seen in children born first. For example, younger siblings tend to take on a firstborn role if an
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
After Frank Sulloway published his popular studies on how birth order affects individuals (1996 & 1999), many researchers delved into the field to determine how personality is affected by birth order. General hypotheses state that most first-born children are more intelligent than those born later, and that the youngest children are more social. Many more similar hypotheses exist in the field, and through several researches, more information on the actual relationship between birth order and personality is available. These researches and experiments give insight into the psychological significance of birth order.
In terms of Adlerian typology, "the firstborn child is frequently depicted as a leader and dominant personality who adheres to rules and established protocol," as one who enjoys structure and is more responsible (Alan 2004). They are also thought to achieve greater academic and professional success and to have higher self-esteem. "Parents tend to have higher expectations of the older child than they do of younger siblings. These expectations are often accompanied by investment of more parental time and attention in socializing the firstborn" (Kulik 2004). According to Adler, some firstborn children never recover from the
According to Alfred Adler, the birth order of the children in a family will largely affect how they age and the personalities which they will form. First borns enter the family as the only child. They revel in the love and full attention from their parents, that is, until the second baby comes along. Suddenly, first borns are dethroned and lose the undivided attention they are used to receiving. As a result, they tend to develop a strong sense of responsibility and protectiveness over their siblings at an early age, which often leads to them becoming authoritative adults. Moreover, when there are multiple children in the family, parents will set high
The second-born has a lot that goes against them, for example, they can go through something called de-identification. Krugar writes that de-identification happens when a sibling sees what their older sibling does and proceeds to do the opposite in order to stand out, so if a first-born were to make good grades and get a job the second-born may go down the slacker route in order to receive attention. Also, second-borns tend to act out or rebel when the parent compare the second-born to the first-born, for they don’t like to be compared to their older sibling, but who likes to be compared to another person all the time anyway
Sibling rivalry is not the only issue that was triggered by birth order, child’s personality and his or her intelligence is also involved. Some researchers say that first-borns are smarter because they are pressured to set-up the boundary for the younger siblings. They are more enthusiastic in their education for them to be role models of their other siblings. As for the younger ones, life may be or may not be easy, depending on how they will view it. They may view it positively by keeping in mind that since their older sibling get through it, they also can. Otherwise,
Though there are specific temperaments and personality traits commonly found in each birthplace, it does not signify that each characteristic perfectly fits a single child or adult in that order. Many variables interfere with the general traits found in each birthplace and can easily change the personalities of that specific order. A complete change in birth order characteristics can also result from these specific interferences. Both circumstances in the outside and inside world take effect and are called the variables of birth order. These variables are very important to keep in mind while looking at this subject. Dr. Kevin Leman, an internationally renowned psychologist, and New York Times Bestselling Author, lists some of the major variables found in many children and adults in his book The Birth Order Book. The spacing of up to five years or more, gender, physical and mental disabilities or difference, deaths in the family, and also spacing will interfere and alter the personality traits found in each birth placement. This list of variables can continue on, but looking at these can provide insight to those dealing with doubts towards their specific birth order or where they may fit
Firstborn children in families develop a higher I.Q. than their siblings. The New York Times used a study that found that the average difference in I.Q. was three points higher in firstborn than closest sibling. Even though it is only three points it is significant according to researchers. While three points may not seem like a huge differences, experts say that “it can be a tipping point for some people- the difference between a high B average and a low A” (Carey, 2007). The results also show that it was because of family dynamics and not biological factors. In the study, analyze the data of Norwegian men born from 1967-1976 and found that firstborn had three percent higher than second child and four percent higher than third child. The
After reading “That Elusive Birth Order Effect and What it Means for You” by Susan Krauss Whitbourne and “How Birth Order Effects Your Personality” by Joshua K. Hartshorne, I have come to the conclusion that both authors view birth order differently. Whitbourne was against the idea that birth order affects a person’s life. She does not believe that myths about birth order should be accepted as fact. Hartshorne, on the other hand, was for the idea that birth order affects a person’s life.
Firstborns may choose to tutor their sibling(s) and support them whenever their parents can't. Arguably, by becoming role models to their younger sibling(s), firstborns may improve certain educational skills (Rees et al., 2008; Bonesronning & Massih, 2011) such as leadership, listening, and communication proficiencies, which could further their own educational success. It is also estimated that firstborns who end up attending post-secondary education may influence their younger sibling(s) to do so as well (Karwath, et al, 2014), which could in turn increase the educational potential of the younger
The first journal article I found is called “Birth Order Impacts: Real or imagined? A Review of Literature Past and Present” and this article is very interesting because it details how research has proven that this in fact it is true. “Even Charles Darwin, the revolutionary biologist who proposed the theory of evolution based in natural selection, took a stance that birth order must impact how an organism travels through life” (Govek, 2012). The author also states very good points of research that has been done with infant temperament. “Starting as early as infant temperament, researchers have posed that a child’s later personality can be determined. Where birth order is concerned, it can have an impact on personality, as it has an impact on
Something I learned about birth order is that many people have different personality because of birth order. Discussing with my group we agree that the first born child is the most responsible . In my group no one was the first born child but we do have our big brother/sister and we all agree that they are responsible and their personality is more matured. On the other hand , some of us didn't agree about the middle child of how they are rebellious and are the black sheep of the family ;but we do agree that the middle child wants attention and whatever to get that little attention from their parents. Also, they are creative to do things as projects and many more. I do rely to this because I'm the middle child and I dislike it because
Although no first born is the same as the later-born individual, they are still very similar to each other as the results show that the mean scores are very close. If given the full information of results there may be some differences in data compared to the mean scores. Another personality trait that can be examined could be curiosity or adventure: the results are expected to show first borns being very adventurous or more adventurous and the later-borns being less adventurous due to the first born receiving more discipline, therefore wanting to adventure off on their own, this can be shown with how firstborns in the class test are more independent. A different trait that could be tested is agreeableness to show the compassion of the firstborns and later-borns. It is expected that later-borns will have more agreeableness due to later-borns looking up to their older siblings and parents and not wanting to see them get hurt, whereas the first born will most likely get annoyed by having to share everything with younger siblings therefore becoming less
Does being the eldest child make people highly intellectual, people pleasing, perfectionists? Are the middle children always impatiently competing for parental attention by rebelling against the rules? Are all last-born children the spoiled, selfish, favorites? Birth order, a highly controversial topic, is defined as the dynamics of an individual’s place in the family compared to that of their siblings. Birth order has been in a fiery discussion for over one hundred years; some say it’s the very foundation of each one of our personalities, while others claim that the margin of error is just too wide for these coincidental patterns to bear any meaning.
According to Frank Sulloway in “The Power of Birth Order,” firstborns are generally smarter and stronger than later-born siblings. He also states that the younger siblings are likelier to play rougher
Society can influence your identity by birth order. Oldest children or firstborns like taking charge and are bursting with confidence. The author writes that firstborns often become perfectionists and over-achievers due to the desire to mirror their parents. The author states that older children are more motivated to achieve because they have no older siblings to compete or be made fun of by(is the oldest child likely to be president)(13-15).This passage shows how most firstborns.