The Effects Of Birth Order On Personality

1080 words - 4 pages

The study of personality is multi-faceted. There are many factors that shape one’s personality, and many definitions of the word itself. Personality has the ability to intensely affect one’s interpersonal relationships in many aspects. One factor of personality that has been studied extensively is birth order. Birth order refers to the numerical place of a person in the order of births in his or her family and how that person fits in the constellation of the family (Ernst & Angst, 9).
It has been observed across many studies that members of each rank—oldest, middle, youngest or single children—tend to have similar personalities as members of the same rank (Ernst & Angst, 13-16). It can be presumed that birth order will have an effect on all aspects of life, specifically interpersonal relationships.
There have been many studies that have focused on birth order, the results, however, have been inconclusive. Ernst and Angst (26) conducted more than 1,000 studies on birth order between 1946 and 1980 with no statistically significant correlation between birth order and personality traits. This can be attributed to the near impossibility of controlling other variables in the study, such as parenting techniques, economic status, and stages in the parents’ lives during which they raise children (Travis & Kohli, 501-502).
Alfred Adler was the first researcher to recognize birth order as a noteworthy factor in personality development. Adler understood that “even though children have the same parents and grow up in nearly the same family setting, they do not have identical social environments,” (Hjelle & Ziegler, 192). Adler was also the first to describe the differences in personality between siblings. The oldest child tends to be conservative, dominating, and a natural leader (Hjelle & Ziegler, 195). The only child tends to be needy and self-centered (Hjelle and Ziegler, 195). Adler wrote, “The only child has difficulties with every independent activity and sooner or later they become useless in life” (Leman, 155). The middle child is usually tries to achieve unrealistic goals that end in failure. Finally, the youngest tends to strive to out-do older siblings for recognition (Hjelle & Ziegler 196).
Walter Toman is a researcher that describes eleven different birth orders: oldest brother of brother(s), youngest brother of brother(s), oldest brother of sister(s), youngest brother of sister(s), the oldest sister of sister(s), the youngest sister of sister(s), the oldest sister of brother(s), the youngest sister of brother(s), middle sibling, the only child, and twins (Toman, 461). This obviously complicates studying the effects of birth order. Many studies, however, do support the variability of the gender of siblings as well as one’s numerical place in the family (Toman, 334).
Despite all the variability and complications within the study of birth order, more recent studies than the Adler and Angst studies are showing similarities in results. One...

Find Another Essay On The Effects of Birth Order on Personality

Birth Order Affects Personality Essay

1348 words - 6 pages seen in all families and crosses all cultural, racial, and ethnic lines” (Hurst 5). Every birth order has a certain personality that is caused by the influence of parents, siblings, or personal mental standards. Personalities of firstborns are mostly affected by parents and the high standards that they set for themselves, so they strive for success and perfection in everything they do. Parents play an important role in a firstborn’s life which

Personality Tags for Birth Order Essay

1557 words - 7 pages Is there a “personality tag” for each child, depending on their birth order? Does the family size, or even the parents’ life styles, affect anything? Birth order is more than just an old wives’ tale about predicting the personalities of each child in every family. “Birth order, put in its proper context, is a key that can unlock personalities and give you a new perspective on human nature.” (First- born?,1). Every child of every family has a

Birth order and personality traits

951 words - 4 pages Birth order and personality traits Birth order and personality traits are very negotiable because the past and present life situation have a big role in how an individual will turn out, but if it’s an average Joe family then I wouldn’t be surprised if they were like what has been studied and concluded for obvious reasons. All of the traits one can have are unlimited depending on the type of parents, environment, and there intelect. These

How Birth Order Affects Personality

1281 words - 5 pages Birth order affects everything from personality and character traits to future relationships and career choices. The difference in birth order combined with how parents treat their causes the children to grow and develop differently from the siblings they may or may not have (Voo, Jocelyn). Family is the greatest influence on children growing up, and in what order they were born determines how their family treats them (Leman, Kevin). There are

How birth order determines personality

558 words - 2 pages Although families are getting smaller, the majority of American children still grow up with at least one sibling, and there is certainly no shortage of speculation about the roles that brothers and sisters play in a child's life. Sibling rivalry is the spirit of competition, jealousy, and resentment that may arise between two or more siblings. For over a hundred years psychologists have been studying how our birth order determines our

How Birth Order Affects Personality

851 words - 4 pages the next hour doing homework, then I cleaned and organized my desk. I clean my desk around once a week and it always goes entails me wiping my desk down 3 times, then assorting each of my textbooks in height order, finally finishing the task off with the perfect placement of my laptop on the middle of my desk. After thinking about all of that I would say I believe this article for a few reasons. First of all, my morning routine was something my

Birth Order and Personality Tag: Does Birth Order Affect Anything?

1761 words - 7 pages Is there a “personality tag” for each child, depending on their birth order? Does the family size, or even the parents’ life styles, affect anything? Birth order is more than just an old wives’ tale about predicting the personalities of each child in every family. “Birth order, put in its proper context, is a key that can unlock personalities and give you a new perspective on human nature.” (First- born?,1). Every child of every family has a

Birth Order: Does it affect your personality?

1624 words - 6 pages personality.Adler's Freudian perspective states that birth order is the deciding factor in how we live our lives, while Sulloway can find results that do not accurately answer the question true or false. Ernst, Angst and Stewart agree that ordinal positioning does not have an influence on higher achievement or psychopathology (Stewart, 1992), but they differ on the effects of birth order on personality. Ernst and Angst believe birth order has no bearing on the

How Birth Order Affects One’s Personality

1373 words - 5 pages Constellation: It’s effects on Personality and Social Behavior. New York: Springer Pub.Co. Leman,(1998) The New Birth Order Book: Why you are the way you are,Grand Rapids, Mich. : F.H. Revell Lederman, Sherri Phd.(2000)Birth Order, New York, New York:Whole Family Center, Inc. Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology, 2ed. Gale Group,2001.in association with th Gale Group and Looksmart

Does Birth Order Affect Personality Development?

1892 words - 8 pages 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

Does Birth Order Affect Personality Development?

974 words - 4 pages first born) and the ten year old (former only child) will now ferociously compete for the first born position and as a result their respective characteristics are likely to become more noticeable. The youngest child will most likely become even more typically a last born. When children’s birth order positions become unclear, they are likely to become more assertive, sometimes even aggressive, regardless of their age (Blair, 2011, p. 147-148

Similar Essays

The Effects Of Birth Order On Personality

794 words - 4 pages The oldest child is authoritative and driven, the youngest gets treated like a baby and can never do anything wrong, and the middle child is exactly what the name suggests - stuck in the middle. Is there some actual truth behind the differences in personality in regards to birth order? Or are they just stereotypes? There are many different factors that come down to why birth order has such a big effect. Some of these factors include time, money

The Effect Of Birth Order On Personality

839 words - 4 pages birth order in determining personality characteristics (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). Some researchers believe birth order is as important as gender and almost as important as genetics in its effect on personality (Gross, 2013). The oldest child is frequently a perfectionist, the middle child often feels forgotten, and the youngest seeks attention as the baby of the family. As a result, birth order is a powerful variable in the unfolding of your

The Effects Of Birth Order On The Personality Of An Individual

1870 words - 7 pages The Effects of Birth Order on the Personality of an Individual There are many things that can alter the personality of an individual; some of these are voluntarily inflicted, while others are uncontrollable. Among the uncontrollable altercations, birth order is perhaps the largest influence on a person's disposition. Personality is influenced by the "place" a person has in their family as well as the family situation. It is important

The Effects Of Birth Order Essay

3101 words - 12 pages The Effects of Birth Order Missing Works Cited 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