Have you ever wondered how our personality forms and what can have an impact on it? Apparently, such inconspicuous factor as birth order might be a real thing. This idea is very old, as dates to the time when psychoanalyst Alfred Adler debated with Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung on the possible impact of the birth order.
"Middle child syndrome"
Adler suggested that middle children might get the feeling of exclusion, as the first one usually gets more privileges and responsibilities, while the youngest child gets attention and indulgences. This can determine specific traits and habitual way of dealing with tasks of friendship, love, and work. Middle children often are resentful and feel there’s nothing special about them.
However, the so-called “middle child syndrome” hasn’t been supported by recent studies. A professor of psychology at the University of Redlands in California, Catherine Salmon, Ph.D., says:
The idea that they’re all messed up by being in the middle is just patently unrealistic. There are so many things that influence development and personality.
The professor, however, is sure that birth order definitely affects children one way or another among other countless factors.
What impact birth order can have on one’s personality?
Most of the studies agreed more or less on the following statements:
1. First-borns may be smarter.
According to a personality psychologist Julia Rohrer, firstborn children tend to have higher IQs. Statistically, the intellectual advantage is pretty much limited to 1 or 2 points and the tendency is not huge.
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2. Later-borns tend to chose different lives.
You may call them “rebellious,” but that is not actually accurate. Some researchers show that many first-borns tend to follow their parents’ footsteps while later-born children usually seek for different approaches to their lives.
3. Middle-born might lean more on their friends and siblings rather than parents.
Middle ones can see the source of support in their friends and siblings and not parents. It might be caused by the lack of attention in their childhood.
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4. Later-born children can be more open-minded.
This statement basically comes from the previous two. If the later-borns choose different lives from their parents’ and rely on their friends, obviously, they are more open-minded.
5. First-borns may feel huge parental pressure and poor mental health.
Typically, parents tend to pass on their unsuccessful life goals, prejudices, and ideas to their first-born children. Moreover, the expectation from them of accomplishment usually is too high and has a negative impact on mental health.
Middle children celebrities
One recent study shows that later-born may choose more creative careers like music, acting, and writing. The first-borns typically chose something more solid like law and economics. This might be true as so many celebs have older siblings. For example, Madonna, Chris Hemsworth, Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, and so many more.
These people are extremely successful, and no one could ever think that they all are middle children. Maybe it means that birth order plays a really insignificant part in the formation of personality and even less in achieving life success. What do you think?
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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.