Essay on The Effects of Birth Order

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Does birth order have an effect on personality? Does being first born make people more responsible? If someone is the middle born child, are they going to be more rebellious? If people are last born are they more likely to be on television? Are first born children inconsiderate and selfish or reliable and highly motivated? These, and many other questions are being thoroughly studied by psychologists (Harrigan, 1992). In 1923, the renowned psychiatrist Dr. Alfred Adler, wrote that a person's position in the family leaves an undeniable "stamp" on his or her "style of life" (Marzollo, 1990). Research has shown that birth order does indeed affect a child; however, it does not automatically shape personality. If it did, life would be…show more content…
They are the ones that are extremely driven to succeed in "high achievement" fields such as science, medicine, or law (Leman, 1985). For example, of the first twenty-three astronauts sent into outer space, twenty-one were first born or their close cousin, the only child, which we w ill discuss later on. In fact, all seven astronauts in the original Mercury program were first born children (Leman, 1985). Also, first born children tend to choose careers that involve leadership. For example, fifty-two percent of all U.S. presidents were first-borns (Lanning, 1991). Researchers say that, in general, first born children tend to have higher IQs than younger siblings. This is not because they start off more intelligent, but because of the amount of attention new parents give to their first child (Marzollo, 1990). Experts claim that a first born's will to succeed begins in infancy (Lanning, 1991). The extraordinary love affair that many new parents have with their first child leads to the kind of intensity that can probably never be repeated with a younger child. In the first few weeks, a new parent imitates the baby's gestures in a playful game. A rhythm is established by mimicry of vocalizations, motions, and smiles. Think what this cycle of action-reaction might mean to an infant: "I'm pretty powerful, aren't I? Everything I do is copied by someone who cares about me ." After a couple of weeks of game playing the infant develops a sense of "I recognize
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