Birth order has been shown to have a small effect on educational motivation and achievement, even after dealing with confounds such as social status (Marjoribanks, 2003). The bulk of research suggests that being the first born in a family has positive implications. In addition to seeming to have an impact on academic motivation, being first born may also have an impact on creativity (Baer, Oldham, Hollingshead, & Jacobsohn, 2005). Firstborn’s also seem to be more heavily represented in academically elite individuals (Hayes, Bronzaft, 1979). Alfred Adler (1931, as cited in Greenberg, Gueiuno, Lashen, Mayer & Piskowski, 1963) used birth order theory to predict behavior. He theorized that birth order had a significant effect on personality, with both first born and last born children exhibiting higher levels of problem behavior, and middle children ending up resentful of authority. However, he didn’t just focus on negative outcomes, as he saw differences in leadership abilities and other positive qualities. Dailey (2009) Birth order has different effects depending on the family itself. According to Needlman (2001), there are exceptions to every idea about birth order, but there are also average outcomes. In general, first born children are seen as more responsible, with high parental expectations. The middle born children often feel more adrift in the family and turn to other means of validation, such as friends and activities. Last born children tend to be more easy going and used to having their way. Yet these are only generalities, as the number of children in a family and the space between births also seems to have an effect on these roles.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document