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.
Parents’ own birth orders and children experience can impact family dynamics, such as, firstborn parents getting into “raging battle” with a firstborn child, youngest-born parents not having high expectations on their kids or seeing their children’s abilities, biases based on their own birth positions, sticking up for the children with the same birth order, and birth order affecting the children’s personalities.
In the texts “That That Elusive Birth Order and What it Means for You,” and “How Birth Order Affects Your Personality,” the authors give their interpretation on the importance of birth order in siblings. The author of the first text, Susan Whitbourne, stresses the unimportance of birth order. Conversely, Joshua Hartshorne, the author of the second text, says that birth order is significant to personality, but there just has not been enough evidence until recent studies.
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
A good example of “The Power of Birth Order” are the Lee siblings. The Lee siblings are, going from eldest to youngest, Katana, Roman, and Samantha. Katana is a first-born; being the eldest of her siblings she was the first to graduate high school ranking 26th out of 2100. She strived for good grades and worked very hard to help her mother support their family. She is currently attending Trevecca Nazarene University studying to be a teacher. Her brother Roman, the second oldest, is the complete opposite of her. He is smart, but doesn’t like trying in school that much, so his grades suffer. He also prefers to slack-off rather than work. The youngest sibling Samantha is the third-born. She is always trying something new. Samantha is also an artist and likes to express herself through her work. These three siblings are a real-life example of Jeffrey Kruger three
Birth order is addressed as the arrangement of births of children in a family. The four most common positions used in the Birth Order Theory of Alfred Adler are: only child, first born, middle child and last born. Adler associated those birth order positions with different characteristics for each. He also explained that with every child that will be added to the family there will be an effect for each family member in terms of communication, tasks and duties. (Craighead 2001)
Birth order refers to the order in which children are born into their families. Common examples of this include the first-born, second-born, youngest and the only child. Birth order is considered to have profound lasting effects on the psychological and behavioural development of children. For this reason, it is essential to study birth order and its impacts on children within families in Canada because it reveals more about the individual in society. A child’s birth order is incredibly influential in regards to their upbringing, shaping their personality and how they grow up to be as individuals. First-born children generally have a great amount of pressure and responsibility placed on them. The youngest children of families
CNN news examines the theory saying, “A recent survey by CareerBuilder.com found that workers who were the firstborn child in their families were more likely to earn $100,000 or more annually compared to their siblings. The oldest tend to pursue vocations that require higher education, like medicine, engineering or law. Firstborns from the CareerBuilder.com survey reported working in jobs in government, engineering, pharmacy and science” (Zupek). The strict rule enforced by parents and competition between siblings instill pressure and determination to be better. Moreover, the leadership role that the older sibling practices in early life is also implemented in their careers as they generally exert themselves to jobs that are more prestigious. Ohio State’s Frederick T.L. Leong conducted a study along with many other doctors and researchers who found that among, “119 undergraduate students majoring in a wide variety of academic fields at a Midwestern university; one of the strongest findings was the fact that only children and first-born children tended to have more cognitive and analytical interests, while later-borns were more artistic and oriented to the outdoors” (Birth). Different sets of rules and demands are implemented on different siblings which contributes to contrasting personalities and interests of children. These varying traits carryover into their adult life and play a role in the career they
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
If researchers hypothesis are supported and birth order affects first born children then, they will score high in Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, low in Openness to Experience, and Extraversion. Middle children score low in Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and high in Neuroticism. While youngest children will score high in Agreeableness, Neuroticism, Extraversion and low Conscientiousness. Current research will support the fact that birth order certainly plays a role as it pertains to personality and findings by Saroglou & Fiasse (2002) as well as Healy & Ellis (2006) supports the fact that parents expectations and treatment shape a child’s temperament.
A study done in Norway even showed that first borns had two or three more IQ points than their siblings (Ratledge, 105). First borns tend to outperform their siblings because they recieve unshared attention from their parents before their siblings are born. Also, when their siblings are born, first borns are often tasked with looking after their younger siblings. Both of these factors are responsible for making first borns more responsible and independent. This even boils down to the classic nature vs. nurture debate. Due to being born to older mothers, subsequent children are inherently at a slight disadvantage. Other than this, there is not enough information to prove that first borns outperform their siblings by nature. On the nurture end, it all depends on how the child is parented. Ashley Fitting, a mother of two, stated that, “I do think that I learned from having my first, and so my second is reaping the benefits of me no longer being a complete hopeless mess of trial and error” (Wallace). On the other hand, Amanda Rodriguez, a mother of three, stated that, “My oldest son is extremely responsible. He's always where he's supposed to be. He's very conscientious in school, and my subsequent children are just not like that”
There has been significant research over the past century in regards to birth order, however some conflicting results have been reported. A few common items have been found. Primarily, that first borns enjoy a more favorable position within the family as opposed to later borns (Kalliopuska, 1984). This is based on the variable of maternal warmth, which is how much time a parent spends with their child (Smith, 2014). On average parents spend 3,600 more hours with first and only born children as opposed to the ones who are born later (Smith, 2014). ) This could be the factor that is noted as the perceived maternal warmth that impacts the idea of the “more favorable position.” Another key finding is that first born and only children tend
They tend to be charming, social, very manipulative, impatient, confident, and immature. The youngest is sometimes considered the "lucky one." They are dependent on others and worry free. They grow up knowing that whatever kind of mess they make, someone is always going to come behind them and fix everything as they are typically treated like a baby all their life. It's theorized that the youngest child's personality is mainly shaped by the lack of or reduced attention from parents who now have two kids and a baby, sometimes the baby is "forgotten" in the chaos of life. This explains why the youngest child is also attention-loving and enjoys having the spotlight on them whenever possible.(Herrera, 2003)
Family size affects every child’s personality. Birth order and family size are linked together. For example, if there are two children in a family, there is a 50% chance of being the first born. Families with five children give each child a 20% chance of being the first born child. Every child has a chance at being the first born, but the larger the family, the lower the chance. Speaking of lower chances, there are fewer resources as well. If a family has many children, parental resources are spread thinly; for example, money, time, and attention. Ethnicity, wealth, education, and other social factors of parents also affect the family size. But, parents that are better educated, comfortable, and wealthier, usually have fewer children, so does this mean these children have more resources? The answer is yes. These
Although there are a number of scientists supporting for the idea of being the firstborns is beneficial and advantageous, recent studies assert that the effects of birth order no longer are significant. The children’s intelligence depends on many factors such as family size, child spacing, prenatal factors, gestational factors, not only birth order