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HOW DOES YOUR BIRTH ORDER AFFECT YOU?

Updated: Apr 10, 2023




Sibling birth order has been found to have a significant impact on the development and personality of children. Studies have shown that the order in which siblings are born can shape their relationships with each other, their parents, and the world around them. From social skills to academic achievement, sibling birth order can have a profound effect on a child's life.

Many studies have examined the relationship between birth order and various outcomes, such as academic achievement, social skills, and career success. While there is no clear consensus on the exact effects of birth order, research suggests that it can shape a child's development in significant ways.


One of the most notable effects of sibling birth order is on a child's social skills.

According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,

first-born children tend to be more responsible and achievement-oriented,

while later-born children are more rebellious and creative.

Middle-born children are often described as being the peacemakers and negotiators of the family.

These tendencies can have a lasting impact on a child's social interactions and relationships throughout their life.


The oldest child in a family tends to be more responsible, organized, and achievement-oriented. According to a study by Catherine Salmon and Katrin Schumann, firstborns are more likely to be high achievers in school and work, as well as more ambitious and self-disciplined. They may also be more controlling, as they are used to being the leader in the family.


Another area where sibling birth order can have an impact is academic achievement. According to a study published in the journal Intelligence, first-born children tend to have higher IQ scores and perform better in school than their younger siblings. This may be due to the fact that first-born children often receive more individual attention and resources from their parents, as they are the sole focus of their attention for a period of time.


Sibling birth order can also have an impact on a child's relationship with their parents. A study published in the journal Child Development found that first-born children tend to receive more attention and praise from their parents than their younger siblings. This can lead to feelings of resentment and jealousy from later-born children, and may impact their relationship with their parents in the long term.


On the other hand, middle children often develop more social skills, such as empathy, negotiation, and compromise. They may also be more creative and independent, as they often feel the need to differentiate themselves from their older and younger siblings. According to a study by Frank J. Sulloway, middle children are more likely to be rebels and nonconformists, as well as more open to new experiences and ideas.


The youngest child in a family tends to be more outgoing, charismatic, and rebellious. According to a study by Jeffrey Kluger, youngest children are more likely to be risk-takers and rule-breakers, as well as more creative and imaginative. They may also be more attention-seeking, as they are used to being the baby of the family.


It's important to note that these tendencies are not set in stone and can be influenced by a variety of factors, including gender, age gap, and family dynamics. However, the impact of sibling birth order on a child's development and personality is undeniable. Of course, not all children fit neatly into these categories, and there are many factors that can influence a child's personality and behavior beyond birth order. However, understanding the general trends associated with birth order can be helpful for parents and educators in supporting children's development and fostering positive sibling relationships.


t's also worth noting that birth order can have different effects depending on other factors, such as gender, age gap, and family size. For example, a study by Damian R. Murray and John G. Holmes found that birth order effects on personality were strongest in families with three or more children, and that the effects were more pronounced for boys than girls.


In conclusion, sibling birth order can have a profound impact on a child's life, from their social skills to their academic achievement to their relationship with their parents. While the specific effects may vary from family to family, understanding the role of sibling birth order can provide valuable insights into the complex dynamics of family life. While the impact of sibling birth order is complex and multifaceted, research suggests that it can play a role in shaping a child's personality, behavior, and future success. By understanding the general trends associated with birth order, parents and educators can better support children's development and foster positive sibling relationships.


Source:

  • Sulloway, F. J. (1996). Born to rebel: Birth order, family dynamics, and creative lives. Vintage.

  • Ernst, C., & Angst, J. (1983). Birth order: Its influence on personality. Springer.

  • Rodgers, J. L., Cleveland, H. H., van den Oord, E., & Rowe, D. C. (2000). Resolving the debate over birth order, family size, and intelligence. American Psychologist, 55(6), 599–612.

  • McHale, S. M., Updegraff, K. A., & Whiteman, S. D. (2012). Sibling relationships and influences in childhood and adolescence. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74(5), 913–930.

  • Dunn, J., & Plomin, R. (1990). Separate lives: Why siblings are so different. Basic Books.

  • Salmon, C., & Schumann, K. (2007). The impact of birth order on academic achievement and personality traits. Personality and Individual Differences, 42(5), 1229-1239.

  • Sulloway, F. J. (1996). Born to rebel: Birth order, family dynamics, and creative lives. Vintage Books.

  • Kluger, J. (2003). The power of birth order. Time, 161(11), 54-61.

  • Murray, D. R., & Holmes, J. G. (2011). On the importance of distinguishing between siblings and siblingship: Birth order and evolution. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 15(1), 17-23.



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