Birth Order and Anxiety

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THE INFLUENCE OF BIRTH ORDER AND ANXIETY
ON COLLEGE STUDENTS
OF COR JESU COLLEGE

A Thesis Proposal
Presented to
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences Department
Cor Jesu College

In Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Degree
Of Bachelor of Science in Psychology (BSP)

by

GENEVIEVE G. TANDINGAN

FEBRUARY 2011

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

Birth order is an interesting phenomenon that attempts to explain how a child achieves the personality characteristics that he or she exhibits. For years, the significance of an individual's birth order has been subject to many spirited debates, discussions, and research in sociology as well as other disciplines, but the complexities in this discipline is that it are scientifically difficult to determine and support (cited in http://jrscience.wcp.muohio.edu/nsfall99/labpacketArticles/BirthOrderDemographicsand.html). Many parents, teachers, and others who directly relate with children have described the children they interact with as being the "classic" older child or the "typical" baby of the family. Talk of the "middle child syndrome" is prevalent in society. Movies and television programs have even begun to write characters which go along with the stereotypes of older, middle, and younger children. The older child is usually portrayed as the worrier, the logical thinker and the most intelligent in the family. The middle child is seen as the "forgotten one," always being overshadowed by the achievements of the older sibling. The youngest child is almost always characterized as the rebel and carefree. The world seems to be sure that behavioral and emotional traits can be attributed to a child’s birth order (cited in http://clearinghouse.missouriwestern.edu/manuscripts/366.php). Actually, anxiety can stem from numerous things. However, most often it is a product of stress. In the case of college students, stress built anxiety has become the most popular rationale for seeking help. About one in eight undergraduate students pursue counseling for stress-related issues while in college. This is a recognizable boost from the past when less students sought counseling. Often there is a stigma attached to the idea of getting help from a counselor. Therefore, less students seek help than they should, viewing their illness as a cause of weakness. Based on a survey of about 19,000 students, about ten percent of them had seriously considered suicide because the blues was too much for them to cope with. Also, about forty percent of these pupils reported that they felt so depressed it was difficult for them to function in class on at least one occasion. Anxiety can lead to skin conditions, digestive disorders and intensified asthmatic reactions. In fact, these risks may be heightened according to the way that anxiety was triggered toward the student (cited in http://www.helium.com/items/942265-anxiety-issues-among-college-students). In fact, the world of today recognizes that academic achievement has special importance for both the student, and those around him/her. There can be no doubt that it is affected by many factors that may reduce it, like anxiety and pessimism, or by others that enhance it, like self-esteem and optimism. Researchers generally agree that a specific degree of anxiety may motivate the student and make him/her inclined to better academic achievement. Hence, anxiety is considered a motive for learning and high academic achievement. However, a high anxiety score may be one of the obstacles to academic achievement (cited in http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3852/is_200501/ai_n9520814/).

Theoretical Framework

The study was anchored by the theorist Alfred Adller since the importance of birth order on a child’s personality was first introduced by him (Ansbacher & Ansbacher, 1965). Alfred Adler is known within the psychological community as the pioneer of the birth order theory. His belief, which is both accepted and rejected by researchers, is...
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