Birth Order: Does it affect your personality?

Essay by silent_poetCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 2007

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INTRODUCTIONI am the oldest of three children from a single parent family; I am always in charge, always trying to get my mother's attention, always striving to be the best. It was brought to my attention that I lead my subordinates like a mother duck leads her ducklings. Apparently, I care too much, nurture and coddle them like they were little kids. I have seen the similarities between how I handle my subordinates and how I handled my siblings. With only one parent, sometimes I had to be the mother, give orders or make dinner. With my subordinates I would like to think that I guide them, but unfortunately, I know they sometimes view me as a mother figure, depending on the situation.

My leadership style made me wonder, did my position on the sibling ladder affect my adult life, and was I tied into the oldest child stereotype for the rest of my life? Through research, this paper will outline the different schools of thought and answer my research question: does birth order affect personality? What do all these terms mean? Don't worry I was confused at first too.

Definition of TermsBirth Order: The ordinal positioning of a person within a family. Many believe that where we are in relationship to our siblings, or being an only child in a family, will influence how we develop. Others think that birth order has no influence on the development of an individual, yet others feel that birth order only helps to shape the way an individual acts and reacts within the family unit and has no bearing on how the individual participates in life outside the structure of the family.

Birth Order Traits: The characteristics learned from childhood according to the child's position in the family, sex, number of siblings and...