Adler's Birth Order Effects Theory

Topics: Birth order, Sibling, Family Pages: 3 (1191 words) Published: June 19, 2012
Birth Order Effects Theory
Alfred Adler is best known by the psychological family for establishing the order of birth theory. As we study how one develops their personality we will find that there is no one theory that will provide us with a complete explanation to the question. Adler’s theory came from his idea that birth order was a major social influence in childhood, one from which we create our own lifestyle (Adler, 2009). Adler’s theory to the order of birth insists that the position of a child within a family along with how they are treated significantly contribute to the child’s personality, their perceptions, how they behave, and their overall general well-being. Adler did not believe the notion that birth order alone influenced a child’s personality but also the child’s environments along with the child’s thoughts of their birth order that shaped their personalities. The order of birth is referred to as a child’s position in a family in relation to their other siblings. According to Adler’s theory the birth order goes from the oldest child, middle child, youngest child, and the only child and depending on which position the child is in there are certain personality traits that the child will develop. Adler’s Theory

The oldest child is the first child born into the family. According to Adler this child is in the worst position in the family. In the beginning this child receives the parent’s undivided attention and a lot of affection until the second child is born. When the second child is born the first child often feels pushed to the side because they are no longer the center of attention. The first child suffers from what Adler refers to dethroning. Dethroning is described as a feeling of loss by the first born due to the birth of another sibling because they have to now share their parent’s attention (Adler, 2009). This child mostly takes on more an authoritative role and tends to become bossy and demanding towards the younger sibling but can be...

Cited: Adler, A. (1964a). Problems of neurosis. New York: Harper & Row.
Adler, A. (2009). Individual Psychology. In D. Schultz, & S. E. Schultz, Theories of Personality (pp. 129-157). Belmont,CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Kluger, J. (2007, October 7). The Power of Birth Order. Retrieved from Time Magazine:,8599,1672715,00.html
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