Ordinal Position and Substance Abuse: Literature Review

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Ordinal position and substance abuse: Literature review The idea that birth order affects personality is not a new one in psychological literature. The assumption that birth order and character are interrelated has become part of the common assumptions therapists bring to their relationships with clients. For example, one study of 308 clinicians found that upon offering the same profile of a prototypical client, with only the birth order changed in the profile, "once the client was viewed as exemplifying a particular birth order, clinicians' prognostic ratings differed according to the client's birth order" (Alan 2004). The deep and abiding nature of the conviction that birth order inexorably affects one's development dates back to Alfred Adler, who was one of the first theorists to classify human personality into types based upon 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

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