The Psychological Effects of Birth Order

By: Elizaveta, Ramina, Nowshin, Kinga

To the reader…
Why it might be interesting? How did we come to it? What does it mean to be the only child? How is it different from having one or more siblings? What role birth order plays in the development of personality of each child as an independent and autonomous individual within society? How it affects establishing interpersonal relationships with peers, their choice of a career and important and everyday needed and essentials for being or becoming successful such as decision-making, time organization, stress resistance and motivation?
The ways in which birth order effects our life is an interesting topic to learn about; perhaps everyone at least once has questioned if things would be different if they were an only child, or maybe if they had siblings. You might even have asked if things would be different if you were the oldest, middle or youngest child. And would it change my life in good or a bad way? Being human, we are constantly wondering and asking questions. it is human nature to want to know more about ourselves; a curiosity and a desire to discover our strengths and weaknesses in order to use this information to understand and better ourselves.//

Interaction/communication/socialization/relationships III-1

Only child:

To be born and raised alone. That is the experience of an only child. Ever wondered what it feels like?. Quite different from the individual who has siblings, actually. Children who are in this category are very different from others. The definition of being an “only child” is straightforward; To be born and raised in a family or home where there are no fellow siblings to the child. Only children are usually raised differently after being born as an only child, with parents usually placing higher expectations and providing a higher level of support to them. This leads to several distinct characteristics that differentiate only children from others (children).

Parental Expectation:

The following articles is an excellent approach towards understanding only child psychology; by we will look at how expectations of parents can be an important factor in influencing the only-child’s behaviour, which will be examined further in the following sections of this page.

Liang Y. (2007). Parental expectation of only child boys and girls in urban China. Handbook on International Studies on Education.
The following paper is an analysis of expectations of parents of their only children and their different treatment of male vs. female only child (due to Only Child Policy in China, most children in China are only children; excellent environment for analysing how parental expectations are different towards only children). Male only children were expected to excel in areas of science, for example: engineering, scientist related subjects (Mathematics, Physics). On the other hand, female only children were expected to become teachers more so than males. No gender inequality was seen to be present in the area of education.

Lu J. Hui and Chang L. (2013). Parenting and Socialization of Only Child in Urban China: An Example of Authoritative Parenting. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 174(3), 335-343.
This article examines the control of parents in China over their children, which are mostly only children due to China’s One-Child Policy. Due to the one child policy, parental outlook and behaviour towards their children changed from one that was authoritative, in which they played the role of a guardian to that of a more controlling heads of the family (authoritarian). The interaction between only children and their parents are more warmth-oriented than the ones between non-only children, which are more control-oriented. They encouraged outgoing behaviour in only children. Parents of non-only children contrasted with this by restricting excessive social behaviour. Parenting styles towards an only child showed minimal gender differences in behaviour, which leads us to believe that parents treated both genders more equally than non-only children.


The articles that follow examine the social psychology of children based on birth order and them being only children. Different aspects of behaviour such as friends, family, etc. are examined. Through this analysis we can gain a better understanding of the psychology of the children with birth order as a factor in their life.

Salmon C. (2002). Birth Order and Relationship: Family, friends and sexual partners. Human Nature, 14(1), 73-88.
This study reflects on the interesting founding of how birth orders are strong prediction of familial sentiments and socialization skill with people outside of family. The study was conducted on two hundred and forty five undergraduate students who completed questionnaire relating to their attitudes towards family, family and aspects of mating behaviour. Middle borns tend to be less family-oriented than firstborns or last-borns. Middle-borns expressed more positive views towards friends and less positive opinion about family in general. They were less inclined to help family in need than firstborns or lastborn and even the only child. Even mating strategy also differed based on birth order, with middle-borns being the least likely birth order to cheat on sexual partner compared to any other order.
The question is why first born and last-borns are more attached to family and friends and middle-borns are more attached to friends and good in socializing outside of family? The result greatly varies based on the care they get from the parents. According to the researchers parents puts different inputs to raise their children based on how try will defend their parents when they are in need of their help. First born or only child are the once who get the most attention and care of parents and they do return the care back to their parents. For an example: when it comes in saving either first born child or any other child (middle or last) the first one is most likely to be saved over others. And when it comes in defending parents they first borns are the once who defend parents and other orders (middle or last born) are most likely to become “rebels”
As in most cases which has been researched, middle-borns are the once who get the least solidarity from family, tends them to become mature earlier and their attachment with friends get deeper as they rely on parents less. Also they tend to have long committed relationships with their partners as they treat their partners as friends and show them equal care and respect.

Li Y, Lui L, Lv Y, Xu L, Wang Y and Huntsinger C. (2015). Mother–child and teacher–child relationships and their influences on Chinese only and non-only children's early social behaviors: The moderator role of urban–rural status.
If you are looking for to study how a direct link between mother child and teacher-child communication in relation and socialization then this is will a great article for your research.
This article reflects on the research investigators regarding Chinese only (as in China you can see the highest families with only child, because of “one-child policy”) and non- only children primarily examine children’s social behaviours, which are closely related to their early relationships with mothers and teachers. Data for this research were obtained from 126 only child and 94 non-only child (from rural area) and 168 only child and 155 non-only child from urban area.
Hierarchical multiple regression analyses found that mother–child close communication positively predicted children's social skills particularly in non-only children, whereas mother–child conflict positively predicted internalizing behavior problems in all four groups.
Teacher–child relation and communication conflict negatively predicted children's social skills most strongly in urban only children. Teacher–child communication and relation conflict aggravated rural only children's, urban only children's and non-only children's internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, but mother–child closeness buffered rural only children's externalizing behavior problems. Findings underscore the importance for mothers to improve closeness, especially with rural only children, and for teachers to avoid conflict with both urban only and non-only children, as well as with rural only children.
The study has several statistics and the goal of concluding the statistics is to find the current characteristics and influences of M-C (mother-child relation) and T-C (teacher-child relationship) on only and non- only children. According to the study, the M-C closeness of non-only children in both urban and rural areas was slightly higher than that of only children. A possible explanation is that non-only children had higher income in the study with higher family income and most of the mothers did not need to go to work, so although non-only children had siblings, all of the children got more attention from their mother thus they can communicate and interact more. The love and care and support of mother helped them to build a secure base of self-worth and self-efficacy. Close M-C relation leads to stronger socialization skill.
On the other hand, parents who have only child generally pose higher expectation on them, which can cause stress on the only child, who gradually cuts off his/her communication with his/her parents lacks the skill of socialization. Teacher-child relation conflict was also responsible to cause behavioural problems in children. If the teacher is representing conflict with the only or non-only child then psychologically their reliance on the teacher decreases which leads them to decrease their communication with the teacher which eventually causes them to face social issues and interaction issue with others.

Development of Behaviour:

Travares M, Fuchs FC, Diligenti F, Abreu JRP, Rohde La, and Fuchs SC. (2006). Behavioural characteristics of the only child vs first-born and children with siblings. Rev Bras Psiquiatr 26(1), 16-22.
The objective of this study was to access the impact of being an only-child on characteristics of parental and peer relationship school achievement, social and sexual behaviour. The study was conducted on three hundred and sixty adolescents identifies at the third year of high school in a private school at Porto alegre in the years 2000 and 2001.
In the last decades there has been a continuous diminishing in the mean sizing of families, a change in the family structure and an increase in the frequency of families with only child. It has been suggested that the absence of siblings can interfere with the intellectual development in the personality and in the adaptation of the subject to social life. Historically it has been shown that the only child receives excessive attention, mature preciously and due to absence of siblings become selfish, demanding, dependent and moody in comparison to children with siblings.
But this study shows that only child in fact has better school achievement, better relationship with parents and as they get full attention of parents they get involved with the alcohol and toxication less. The number of hours spent in individual activities such as internet and lower sexual definition rate are some of the differences of children who have not siblings. Therefore, the finding of study suggest that being an only-child not seemed to be associated with worse evolution in several development area.


The following study is different from my other articles in that it examines the difficulties of individuals in society. We see the communication issues that arise from perceptions of birth order, which can be one’s own viewpoint or another’s.
Mukangi, A. (2010). The role of birth order in substance related disorders.
The study focuses on two objectives: 1. Ordinal Birth Order (one’s chronological position in their family of origin) 2. Psychological Birth Order (a person’s perception of their ordinal birth order). Then it goes on and investigates the effect it has on rates of drug abuse (indirectly ties to communication skills with societal members) based on how they view their own ordinal birth order and its psychological impact. The researchers suggest that the information they discover be used to provide adequate support to individuals based on their birth order, so that drug addicted individuals are given proper time and the medical staff communicate to them with the patient’s birth order in mind.

Responsibility/leadership/task-performance/risk-taking III-2


Hansson, R., Chernovetz, M., Jones, W., & Stortz, S. (1978). Birth order and responsibility in natural settings (2nd ed., Vol. 105, pp. 307-308). Heldref Publications (, US); Taylor & Francis (, United Kingdom).

In this article, responsibility, being a trait that is known to be more common among first born children,is put to the test. The article talks about two studies where the subject is put into a more
natural social environment rather then a laboratory setting. The first study was a record of how many firstborns took “sensible contraceptive measures”. Out of 69 female undergraduates that were surveyed 65.4% of firstborns have gone to see a gynaecologist compared to only 39.5% of later born children. When it came to pelvic examinations 80.8% of firstborns recorded receiving them, while only 58.1% had gone. Taking precautions when it comes to sexual involvement is the responsible thing to do, and the article tries to prove that oldest born children seem to take a lot more responsibility compared to later born children. The second study involved 138 college students that were asked about their birth order and whether or not they had received any traffics tickets within the past 5 years. The results were that 24.4% of firstborn and only born children had received tickets while 48.1% of later borns had. Responsible driving and safe involvement in sexual activity were both used as examples because they both play a very important role in society and in an individuals own life. The results from these two studies both contribute into proving that birth order does,to a certain extent, influence responsibility.


Andeweg, R., & Van Den Berg, S. (2003). Linking birth order to political leadership: The impact of parents or sibling interaction? (3rd ed., Vol. 24, pp. 605-608). Blackwell Publishing (, United Kingdom); Wiley-Blackwell Publishing (, United Kingdom).

This article tries to pick apart the reason behind the “overrepresentation” of first born children in political positions. It questions if birth order qualifies as a plausible factor in the possibility of receiving a job in politics. The article goes on to argue that birth order alone is not enough to guarantee an ambitious personality that pursues a leadership role, such as that of a political leader. The article believes that childhood experiences is what really determines what kind of person the child will be, factories such as parental relationship and sibling relationships are mentioned in being particularly important. Just like most things in our lives, our relationship with our parents effects what kind of adult we become. It is said to be a lot more common for oldest children to receive the most attention and resources from their parental figures, which can play a huge role in a child’s intellectual and communication skills.Which are two favoured traits for people in political positions. The article also points out that ambition is a characteristic that can be passed on from the parents to the child. We might all have heard of parents placing their “hopes and dreams” on to their offspring,however,studies show that it is a lot more common for the oldest born to bear the burden of their parents expectations rather then later borns.This in result gives the first born child the ambition they need to accomplish their goals. The oldest child’s relationship with their younger siblings is the second factor during a child’s development that determines wether or not they end up in politics. Having younger siblings puts the oldest in a position of leadership and power, the article calls the competition and rivalry between siblings to be good “training ground” for the oldest child for “power struggles” that they will be facing later on in life. Which is why most later born children lack the capability of being in a leadership position, due to being deprived of the experience while growing up.

Chemers, M. (1970). The relationship between birth order and leadership style. (2nd ed., Vol. 80, pp. 243-244). Heldref Publications (, US); Taylor & Francis (, United Kingdom).

Continuing on with the theme of leadership, this article adds on to say that oldest born children and later born children seem to possess different leadership styles. The hypothesis that is given is that,“first borns will tend to be more task oriented leaders,while later borns will be more relationship and socially oriented leaders”(Chemers 1970). This hypothesis was put to the test by administrating a co-worker evaluation test. The outcome: first borns seemed to rate the co-workers they did not like a lot lower then later borns. While on the other hand later borns rated the co-workers they had positive relationships with,a lot higher then first borns did with their good co-workers. This is meant to highlight that first borns do not tend to sugarcoat their answers because they are not as socially dependent as later borns. They tend to focus on the task at hand rather then social relationships. This article is interesting, although short, it mentions some great theories regarding birth order’s effect on leadership style variations.

Task Performance

Rothbart, M. (1971). Birth order and mother-child interaction in an achievement situation. (2nd ed., Vol. 17, pp. 113-120). American Psychological Association
(, US). [PsycARTICLES Version]

Interactions between mother and child are put to the test to see if mothers react differently towards the oldest and later born children,in regard to task-performance. The study showed older born children and later born children in achievement oriented situations, with their mothers there to supervise. The study showed no difference in the amount of time the mother spent with each child during their assigned tasks. However, the study did reveal a considerable difference when it came to the quality of how the mothers explained the task to each child. Among the oldest born children, the instructions were a lot more “technical” and direct while putting extra pressure on achievement. This study brings up questions about how much pressure do parents tend place on the oldest compared to the later born children? Do these higher expectations influence the child’s task performance in other areas of their life? This article tries to answer just that with the interactions between mother and child within task performance.

Risk Taking

Eisenman, R. (1987). Creativity, birth order, and risk taking. (2nd ed., Vol. 25, pp. 87-88). Psychonomic Society, (, US).

A link between creativity and risk taking was made in this article.The purpose behind the studies,that aimed to prove the comparison between creativity and risk taking,was to see if “firstborn males would be more creative and more willing to engage in risk taking than later-born males”(Eisenman 1987). The results of the studies showed that first-born males have a higher chance of being creative and thus also being prone to risk taking situations rather then later born males. This outcome might stray away from other beliefs of first borns and their fear of risky situation. Which is why this article can come in handy at looking at a different perspective of first borns in regards towards risk taking. The article explains the higher level of creativity in first borns by saying that because first borns were the only child for a while, that their communication with adults and changing environment when gaining a sibling helped them develop a “deeper” level of thinking.

Personal qualities/character/behavior/gender/age-spacing III-3

Character and Behaviour
The youngest child will generally be known for being babied. They feel or may act as if they are entitled, feel that they deserve to be pampered. The youngest child often has the follower personality vs a leader and will choose to follow leaders they respect. If the youngest child does however become a leader they are often well liked, but not always taken seriously. They are known to rebel and to question authority. They will often be charming as a way of getting what they want. While growing up the younger child feels smaller, less knowledgeable in comparison to other siblings, and they often turn to attention seeking. Usually more outgoing, exploring, and initiate more interaction with strangers. It is said that youngest children are more successful socially than their siblings; they do however have sometimes have lower self-esteem, more dependency on others, and feel deprivation of power.

Age Spacing
The age gap between siblings also has a varying factor, on the quality of the relationship they have. It is noted that children closer in age are more likely to be closer emotionally, will likely spend more time together rather than with their parent(s). The greater the age gap, the more likely that the younger sibling will have an inferior feeling, and lowered self-esteem, because they are taught to look up to their older siblings. Due to the starting of comparison between one’s self and their sibling(s), the younger child will feel indecisive, pressured, not of equal status in the family, and likely throughout the life they lead as adults. The older sibling(s) will either be of accepting and nurturing intent, or feel resentment towards their younger sibling(s) for taking the attention from them.

Siblings of the same sex, will likely be closer emotionally, due to what they have in common right from the start. There will however be more likeliness that siblings closer in age and same gender, are more competitive otherwise known as ‘sibling rivalry’.

Family size
The outcome of characteristics in siblings, based on their birth order, also has a lot to do with their number in the family. If there are more children than 2 or 3 in a family unit, the youngest child will turn out differently than if he/she is the second and youngest child in the family. There is a lot of research out there, to suggest that birth order has a lot to do with how an individual’s psychology will be affected. Regardless of endless research, it is best to keep in mind that there is no significant scientific proof to say that birth order theories are correct.


Adams, B. (1972). Birth Order (3rd ed., pp. 411-439). Madison: American Sociological Association.
Annotation –
This source offered some information on birth order according to research the author reviewed. It has detailed information of studies, and the author analyses theories, research and findings, possibilities etc. The information within this source was helpful, as it was more research based.

Child Development Institute,. (2015). Youngest Child Syndrome? Learn How Birth Order Effects Your Child. Retrieved 15 April 2015, from
Annotation –
This brief article gives a summary of characteristics of each child, depending on their place in birth order. The information although brief, helped me confirm and see what characters are being noted for each child.,. (2015). Influences on Sibling Relationships | Retrieved 15 April 2015, from
Annotation -
The article talks about birth order, characteristics of the children in the family dynamic, from eldest to youngest. It gave information about sibling dynamics and influence, only children, information about parent and child relationships, etc. This web article contains great information to support theories about birth orders and family dynamics. I feel that the entire article was relevant to the research for my portion of the assignment. The article contained good sub headings, which outlined the information I was looking for.

Hartshorne, J. (2010). Ruled by Birth Order?. Scientific American Mind, 21(1), 18-19. doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0110-18
Annotation –
The article provides information about how family size plays a role in the development of each child, as well as mentions of new research being completed.

Interests/creativity/motivation/ career/success III-4

Career choice and success

Kanchier, C. (2006). Can success be defined by birth order? The Gazette. Sect G: 2. Retrieved from

Carole Kanchier, PhD, psychologist, career and personal growth expert and author of Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, argues the possibility of future prediction just by looking at the position of each child in the family; by determining a birth order. As an example, the writer brings up a statistic data and historical facts: “21 of first 23 astronauts were first-borns, as were more than half of U.S. presidents”. Personality as one of the main constructs that lead each individual in choosing the sphere of interests starts its development since a child is capable of understanding the place he/she takes in a particular family, the assigned responsibilities, the amount of attention and the quality time is given comparing to other members. As a result, based on his/her own interpretation of multiple events and experiences, a little man creates his/her own system of values, believes and meanings which gradually determine the pathway he/she will take when it comes to select a profession. Discussing the features of each child according to his/her birthorder and the success prediction, Kanchier relies on the research studies have been made in the recent years. However, despite the correlations an author believes that no matter the rank, order or position, each person has an equal chances for becoming successful in what best fits his interests. To prove the point, an author gives a brief and concise characteristic of each child with regard to his/her birthorder and the way they percept, communicate and respond to the out world; it includes an analysis of main strengths and weaknesses and evidences of success among well-known people such as celebrities, scientists, and politicians.

White, J., Campbell, L., Stewart, A., & Davies, M. (1997). The relationship of psychological birth order to career interests. Individual Psychology: Journal of Adlerian Theory, Research & Practice, 53(1), 89-104. Retrieved from

Based on Adlerian concepts about the importance of making a distinction between psychological birthorder and an actual birthorder as fundamental criteria defining the development of personality in children, researchers from University of Georgia tested the role of birthorder and its influence on the life decisions and sphere of interests from psychological perspective. The group of interest was first-year college students. In order to identify a consistent pattern in the relation between the birthorder and career choice, two measures was used: Psychological Birth Order Inventory (PBOI), the instrument which identifies belonging of the participant to one of four main groups: first-, second-, last-born and the only child position, and The ACT Interest Inventory (also called “UNIACT”) – which focus on one’s career preference within six main interest scales including the subject, for example, science field orientation or business focused and needed primary personal characteristics fit into it. During the experiment, White et al. outlined a remarkable tendency: the high social and business interest of individual is in direct ratio with the family position identification, thus those who experienced the need of being excellent and looking among other family members were more likely to see themselves in an interpersonal skills required fields. On other hand, a decrease in independence and self-administrating common for youngest children had the least interest in areas of science and technical oriented careers. In the end, it has been determined that birthorder itself has little to do with choosing the future and the most of responsibility rests on the shoulders of individual and his personal view of himself, the interpretation of his role inside family.

Difference in interests between siblings

Verger, D. (1968). Birth order and sibling differences in interests. Journal of Individual Psychology, 24(1), 56-62. Retrieved from

The main purpose of the research study by Don Verger was to find out if there is a relationship between the birthorder and the difference in interests the siblings sharing between each other comparing first-born and second-born with first-born and third-born combinations of kids. At the heart of experiment is the idea of the competition between the siblings for the attention and love of parents tracing through the Adlerian theory and the work of Rudolf Dreikurs. In order to determine an influence of parents on the interest development in children the differences in interests between the mother and father was taken as well. In total, seventy families was randomly assigned for the experiment with the restriction within the composition of the family, the number of children in family, the age and gender of children, the age difference between the siblings. The measure of interests was based on the scores of Kuder preference record. Although this study does not include a detailed description of the method, additional information might be taken from the article:
Review of kuder preference record—vocational. (1949). Journal of Consulting Psychology, 13(1),67. Retrieved from

Researchers found that father and the strength of his interests with the contrast to mother plays a significant role in the competition between the parents which in its turn influence the diversity of differences within siblings. The more competition, the less chance of alliance formation between the siblings and as a consequence the least of similar interests are tend to be sharing.

Creativity vs. conservatism

Eisenman, R. (1964). Birth order and artistic creativity. Journal of Individual Psychology, 20(2), 183-185. Retrieved from

Eisenman (1964) conducted a study on creativity with regard to birthorder based on Alfred Adler’s idea that first-born children due to their seriousness and high sense of responsibility are less likely to be creative and not prone to innovations. According to study 20 students in total were tested using Henrickson’s Creativity Design Test and an art professor’s reference for each student. The results showed that last-borns scored better than first-born students. Although there were students among first-borns who did well on both test and demonstrated a high level of creativity, in general the superiority in originality and artistic creativity was given to the majority. The results were considered statistically significant, thus the hypothesis of Alfred Adler about conservatism of first-borns were also accepted.

Income as a determinant of success and well-being

Scott-Wallace, T. (2006, Jun 14). Birth order basics; first-borns are conscientious, middle children are peacemakers and the youngest sibling is the most creative … well, most of the time. The Times - Transcript Retrieved from

Tammy Scott-Wallace, a journalist and reporter from The Times, a British national newspaper, raises the question about the relevancy of making a strict analogy between the birthorder and life success. An author of writing includes the interview with two sisters in which they share their experience and memories about the perception of themselves and each other in terms of interpretation of the situation and the interests they took in when they were kids and now when they are grown-up women with own interests and formed opinion of the way they should follow in order to be successful. Significant accent is made on the differences arouse between the siblings and tend to remain the same even in adult life, being a younger and older sister is not just roles they play with respect to each other but a set of certain behavior pattern and personality characteristics developed from it and determine them for the rest of their lives. The whole article is a collection of experts’ opinions with regard to the person formation based on its position in the family. Looking for the evidence of success, a writer provides the results obtained by Dalton Conley, New York University professor of sociology, who observed a significant difference in numbers the siblings of the same family make noting that although the leadership for multiple positions including education, income and achievement recognition belongs first-borns, the significance of the birthorder in a goal achievement and life success depends on the wealth being of each family, their ability equally support their children and the difference between siblings increases with the number of members in the family.

Positional concerns regarding well-being

Lampi, E., & Nordblom, K. (2010). Money and success—Sibling and birth-order effects on positional concerns. Journal of Economic Psychology, 31(1), 131-142. Doi:

Based on a survey data researchers from Sweden, was trying to analyse if a presence of siblings and birthorder have an influence on individuals in terms of their desire to succeed at work place and the importance of being successful in comparison with friends, parents and relatives. In their studying, Lampi and Nordblom (2010) used a method of questionnaires collecting the information from randomly chosen people regarding their position in the family, well-being of their parents, friends, families and the strength of concerns they have about themselves in terms of income and consumption. The results showed that only- children, children from large families and those whose parents used to create a competitive environment inside family are more likely to be concerned about their well-being and position they take in the society. Unlike, people raised in a less-stressful atmosphere feel more satisfied as they had higher chances to choose a profession closely related to their skills and personal characteristics rather than the salary size and prestige. In conclusion, neither birthorder nor presence of siblings had much effect as the fact of being raised under pressure of competition with others. In general, with age the positional concern weakens and becomes irrelevant (Lampi and Nordblom, 2010).

Role of reading habits in achievement motivation

Farley, F. H., Smart, K. L., & Brittain, C. V. (1974). Implications of birth order for motivational and achievement-related characteristics of adults enrolled in non-traditional instruction. Journal of Experimental Education, 42(3), 21-24. Retrieved from

The main purpose of the study was to find out if there is a relation between birthorder and achievement motivation among school graduates, college students, and occupational-trade enrolees. Using the method of questionnaires researchers asked about 1000 people in age between 18 and 52 to write whether they are willing to continue their education and its importance for them; to specify the amount of hours they spend for reading and their preferences; and to answer if they are interested to go back to school again later on. The results suggested that first-borns at college level are more motivated towards academic future and due to reported numbers they are more heavy readers than other categories of participants, however the researchers points that the luck of the same relationship for other levels denies the fact that it might explained by a greater achievement motivation. Another interesting and at the same time incompatible for explanation part is that there was no relation been found between reading variable and the only-child category. Taking to account both issues, the authors of the test came to conclusion that birthorder has a little effect on a goal achievement and motivation towards studying and perhaps other factors such as financial possibilities and family support contribute to enthusiasm and encouragement to move forward.

To be a middle child is also good

Researching for information it is hard to believe but middle children are not popular among researchers, rarely are point of interest for analysing and absolutely underestimated in terms of career, education, creativity and any kind of success achievements, however an author of the following article is willing to change this misunderstanding and to prove that to be a “sandwich” baby is an advantage among other categories.

Salmon, C., & Schumann, K. (2011, Aug 06). The power of the middle child. The Times Retrieved from

Salmon Catherine, PhD in Psychology and professor at the University of Redlands, and Schumann Katrin found that there are a lot of famous and outstanding people among the middle-borns giving for an example Bill Gates, Charles Darwin, Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr. and David Beckham. Salmon and Schumann (2011) went through some recent studies and came to conclusion: “there is much that we do not recognise about middle children. They are excellent negotiators, trailblazers and justice seekers, for example. They are more successful at effecting change. They have stronger friendships, longer marriages and more fulfilling careers.” Although middle children are not inferior to the older and younger siblings, authors also point that success is not determined only by IQ and income and in the description of the characteristics of middle-borns use definitions like “great listeners”, “good negotiators”, and “loyal friends and lovers”. As an explanation, they make an assumption that it is their position of middle-child help them to develop those traits. Being excluded and ignored, they grow up with higher level of independency, selflessness and injustice.


It is always good to imagine, fantasize and try on different plots or scenario; however I will agree with a well-known folk saying and repeat again that “It isn't the place that graces the man, but man the place”. We would like to believe that the way we live does not depend on any order or position we are given with our birth although it might have some influence. What is really important is the way we look at it, percept and associate ourselves and our role not only inside family but in a bigger family called society.

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