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Birth order essay

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❶Second children often prove more talented and successful then firstborns because they exert themselves more" Alder p.

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When a new child is born, firstborns and their siblings receive less child-directed speech and are privy to multiparty speech. Specifically, mothers appear to provide more linguistic support and more complex grammatical statements to their firstborns even when their firstborns and latter born are observed at the same age.

Concordantly, firstborn toddlers have larger vocabularies, reach language milestones earlier, and demonstrate more sophisticated grammar than their siblings. Baumwell, The early language competence of firstborns may partially explain the proclivity of firstborns to achieve in school.

While much of the research on birth order is considered useful, many psychologists are quick to point out that it lacks strong scientific merit. One social psychologist has even likened birth order theory to astrology because of its rather liberal and far-reaching implementation. Another mentions that it is often a way for people to deny responsibility for their behavior. Judith Blake, author of Family Size and Achievement , believes the size of the family into which a child is born is more important than the order of births in the family.

She argues that the fewer the siblings there are, the more attention each child gets from the parents. And the more attention the child receives, the greater the chances of achievement in school verbal and behavioral skills are used more often through interaction with parents.

Probably the biggest setback to birth order research came from the writings of two Swiss psychologists, Cecile Ernst and Jules Angst. In a noteworthy critique of over a thousand studies on birth order, Ernst and Angst openly criticized the method by which many of these studies were conducted.

Background variables, they argued, were inadequately controlled within the research, thereby rendering much of the significance of birth order useless.

They further argued that the differences between families and number of siblings might be the cause for particular trends. Troha, In spite of these criticisms, research into birth order and its effects on personality, behavior, achievement, and intellect continue.

In fact, a comprehensive research project on birth order by Frank Sulloway, called Born to Rebel , seems to refute much of what Ernst and Angst questioned in regard to the significance of birth order on personality and development. Sulloway does this through the use of a sophisticated scientific method called meta-analysis, in which pooled studies are used to increase the statistical significance.

In other words, the more data that are examined, the less likely there is for error to occur. Troha, Out of studies, 72 of them substantiated the following components: Firstborns are more conforming, traditional, and closely identified with parents. Firstborns are more responsible, achievement-oriented, and organized. Latterborns are more easygoing, cooperative, and popular.

Firstborns are more jealous, anxious, neurotic, and fearful. Firstborns are more outgoing, assertive, and likely to exhibit leadership qualities. He wanted to know what set apart the rebels from the reactionaries throughout history.

Troha, His conclusion is one that suggests family structure, not necessarily church, state, or economy, as the impetus to historical change. He makes a case that firstborns, whatever their age, sex, class, or nationality, specialize in defending the status quo while latter born specialize in toppling it.

Whether or not birth order is accepted as a legitimate means of understanding people, it is difficult to ignore many of the general characteristics and tendencies that seem to attach themselves to the three common ordinal positions. However, it is important to remember that, in the end, it really is up to the individual to shape his or her own tendencies.

Each child is unique. Likewise, each family situation is unique. A variety of factors will impact birth order dynamics, including spacing, gender, physical differences, disabilities, birth order position of parents, divorce, and sibling death.

Most social scientists will, at the minimum, agree that birth order is simply one of numerous ways to probe the enigma known as the human personality. Still, birth order continues to shape personality and behavior by influencing parental investment, as well as by affecting sibling strategies for increasing parental investment. In large part through behavioral genetic studies, psychologists have learned that the family is not primarily a shared environment.

Most environmental influences on personality appear to owe themselves to non shared experiences, including some that are attributable to birth order. In addition to shaping personality and behavior, birth order also exerts an influence on familial sentiments. Individual differences in family sentiments mediate loyalties to the family, degree of contact with parents and other close relatives, and attitudes toward parental authority. In past centuries, these birth-order differences have often played themselves out during radical revolutions, providing a link between the formative experiences of childhood and the course of world history.

Even today birth order continues to shape differences in personality and behavior that, in meaningful ways, affect overall life experience. Macmillan Reference USA, Ernst, Cecile, and Jules Angst. Its Influence on Personality. Birth Order and Personality. Accessed September 14, We will write a custom essay sample on Birth Order and Personality specifically for you.

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How to cite this page Choose cite format: Psychology and Birth Order Older Siblings: How about make it original? Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

Birth Order and Personality send By clicking "Send", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. They are much more accepting of change, adventure, and more rebellious then the first borns. From my reading it is quite clear that second borns intimidate the first borns in the way they act.

They may try to compete with them or they may branch off in a completely different direction. What ever they choose for their life style they will all branch off from the first born child.

The general consensus is that they will be opposite the first born. Middle children have the disadvantage not being the first or last born and there for deal with pressures from below and above.

Because the middle child never had the full attention of the mother they learn to negotiate and compromise with others. They will do almost anything not to disrupt the peace in their lives. They become pleasers and peace makers later in life. The last in line the mother usually pours the attention on her baby. Youngest children are often outgoing charmers, family clowns, craving attention.

They are also affectionate, lovable, and amusing. There is an undependablity in the emotions of a last born child; one minute they are happy, carefree, outgoing, and the next they are rebellious and hard to deal with.

My little brother fills all of these characteristics; one minute last children are spoiled and the next they are getting made fun of. They are the last ones to join the family--following an over achiever and a competitive sibling--so they must find their niche.

They tend to do anything to get a laugh or be in the limelight. Alder did not have quite as good a review of later born children: They may be lazy because of discouraged ambitions and suffer from inferiority feelings because everybody around them is older and stronger.

On the other hand, stimulated by their manifold chances for competition, they may overcome all their older siblings" Alder p. Through out history it is apparent that birth order often determined who lived and who died. When land grants were given they were naturally given to the eldest child with most chance of survival.

The youngest children were often cut out of the deal because they were born smaller and weaker. The contrast between the differences in birth order come from cultural and evolutionary developments. First borns are over achievers who are dependent on positive attention from elders. These birth order positions do not simply separate brothers and sisters according to their year of birth, but predict the further lifestyles of these siblings.

The first child converts the marriage of two people into a real family. Ordinarily, the parents are young and rather inexperienced and sometimes even not ready for the child. Parents try to dedicate all their free time to their child and to apply as many educational techniques as it is possible, nevertheless these techniques often contradict each other and it may result is the constant anxiety of the child.

First-borns are very often over-protected, as their parents make the majority of decisions for them. A standard situation of the first-born and only children is when they are in the center of attention of the adults [Stein, ]. As a result they are very confident and organized.

The eldest child easily takes responsibility. The only child has a problem sharing anything within his social contacts. Some children remain the only ones for their whole life, put some of them at a point turn into the eldest child. This position changes some characteristics, because the birth of another sibling causes trauma for the first-born. The child does not understand why parents do not pay as much attention at him as they used to do before.

Being the first to be born he feels he has the right to have all their attention. The eldest child is more likely to follow the family traditions and it more conservative. So basically, the first-born children go through two major stages: As the result first-borns are emotionally unstable. The middle child in the begging of his life is the second child in the family. For this child there is always somebody ahead of him.

The major goal of the second-born is to overtake the first-born. It is obvious that this type of siblings may have problems with self-determination due to the fact that they are at the same time the older and the younger child.

The only exception is when the middle child is the only girl or the only boy in the family. Middle children combine the qualities of the eldest and the youngest child in the family.

These children often have troubles finding their true place, because adults forget about them, paying special attention to the eldest child the smart one and to the youngest child the helpless one. Middle siblings learn how to live in harmony with everybody, are often friendly, and make friends without difficulties. They do not feel too guilty for their failures as the fist-born children do but cope easily with any loss. Middle children are capable of seeing each aspect of live from two opposite sides, which results from the ability to live between two other birth order positions and are great negotiators.

Very often he remains a baby for his family. He has a lot of people to support him: This exceeding support often spoils this sibling.

The major problem the youngest child faces is the lack of self-discipline and difficulties in the sphere of decision-making. The last-born child is often manipulative. Ass these children get plenty of attention they ordinarily do not have troubles in socialization. The last-born child may have enormous ambitions. The youngest child has two alternatives of developing any relations with the surrounding enviroment, and especially with his brothers and sisters.


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The idea of birth order affecting personality development has and still somewhat is a point of contention in the field of psychology. Some people have strong beliefs that birth order does have a considerable affect on personality, while others believe that rarely any affect is made on personality.

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- Birth order is a commonly discussed topic inside the realms of psychological research. Many studies have been organized to show the differentiation of personality concerning birth order. Characteristics of a personality, absent of birth order, play a monumental role in how a person reacts to social influence.

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The birth order does psychologically influence the child. The literature on this topic is wide but it all claims the importance of the birth order for the further life of the child. Alfred Adler was definitely right to say that the desire to be unique is the major leading force for children in the family. Specific purpose: My purpose is to strengthen or change the attitudes and beliefs of the audience in regard to the influence of birth order on personality. Introduction. I. Birth order is one way to gain an understanding of friends, family members, and co-workers/5(3).

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Essay on How Birth Order and Family Size Affect Personality Traits - Is there a “personality tag” for each child depending on their birth order. Does the family size, or the parents’ life styles affect anything. Birth Order And Personality Birth Order’s Effect on Personality Environment determines to some extent the personality of a person. There are numerous factors in the environment which could determine variations in the personalities of different individuals.