The Role in Psychology of Birth Order

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Birth Orders Role in Personality

Scott Bakalor

University of South Florida - Sarasota / Manatee

The correlations between birth order and personality have intrigued many psychologists over time. Does being the first-born child in a family make them destined to be a selfish overachiever? Will an only child always have trouble associating with other children their age? If a person is the last-born child in a family, are they more likely to be highly rebellious and careless? Is the first-born child going to be inconsiderate, selfish, yet also be highly motivated? The distinguished psychiatrist Dr. Alfred Adler wrote much on the subject of birth order he discussed the idea that the position a child holds in the family leaves an undeniable mark on his or her lifestyle. Studies have shown that birth order will play a role in a child's personality; though, it will not automatically shape who they become.

There are four basic subsets of birth order: the oldest, only, middle, and the youngest, each has its own of advantages and disadvantages, there are also other not as often discussed subsets including twins, adopted children, and ghost children. While birth order is not always exact, it does give many clues about why people are the way they are.

Many factors can influence each child such as the physical circumstances that include income of the parents and the residents of their community. Emotional stability will also play a large part in the development of each person; some examples include having well-adjusted parents, the parental experiences and the career the parents decide to chooses. For instance, what decade and country you happen to born into and the economy of that country will play an important role. All of these factors can influence and help to...