Impact of Birth Order on Long Term Personality Traits of Individuals - Paper Example

Published: 2022-12-13
Impact of Birth Order on Long Term Personality Traits of Individuals - Paper Example
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Psychology Family Personality Childhood
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1700 words
15 min read


The uncertainty on the influence of birth order among siblings on the person's traits in the course of life attracts much attention from different psychologists. According to Black, Gronqvist & Ockert, (2018), older siblings along with cultural wisdom perpetuate the stereotype that birth order influences the individual characteristics. However, the idea faces diverse controversy and contradictions with various studies citing no particular relationship between birth order and personal traits. According to Rohrer (2015), the literature behind the connection between personality traits and birth order has a lot of inconsistency which signifies otherwise on the topic. Many people hold different perspectives as far as birth order and personality are concerned. According to Rohrer et al., the position in birth order does not influence the characteristics of a person. On the other hand, according to first-born children exhibit more internal locus compared to their counterparts. The uncertainty and the disagreeing arguments ignite the question; where does the truth about the matter lie?

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The big question lies in the character traits of the only children in the family. They independently grow up influenced by the parents' decisions and close care. However, various studies cite the only children find it challenging to embrace teamwork and social skills in a work environment. According to Black et al., (2018), they tend to work effectively independently but can as well work with other people. However, working with other people is not one of their strong points. In that light, the connection between birth order and personality is deeply rooted in different arguments and studies which bring out contradicting issues. The issue of birth order and its relation to nature can be beneficial in the study of lifespan developmental psychology.

Research Hypothesis

The study hypothesizes that first-born children are more conscientious than their counterpart siblings.


Examining the Effects of Birth Order on Personality by Rohrer, J. M., Egloff, B., & SchmukleRohrer, Egloff & Schmukle (2015), examined the effects of birth order on personality. The study evaluates the question of the standing relationship between a person's birth position among the siblings and the last impact on the person's course of life. According to the empirical research on the connection between the position of birth among the siblings and the intelligence indicated that the psychometric performance on intelligence tests decline ranging from the firstborns to the later-borns. The search for the effects of birth order on personality is yet to result in conclusive findings. Research on extensive data on the US, Germany, and Britain aimed at pointing out on the slightest effects attributed to birth order based on high statistical power as well as evaluating the emergence of the impact on different samples. The study used two different strategies to analyze the effect of birth order. This entailed evaluation of birth order in siblings and different families. The study highlighted the lack of significant birth order effects on the big five personality traits, that is, emotional stability, extraversion, agreeableness, imagination or conscientiousness. Additionally, birth order does not indicate a lasting effect on the personality traits that lie outside the intellectual domain.

The Effects of Birth Order on Personality by Curtis Gustafson

Gustafson (2010) presented a review of various literature in the examination of the effects of birth order on personality. The study was aimed at determining whether the research supports Alfred Adler's theory of birth order. The research evaluated broad topics that cover the lifespan that entailed such issues as relationship establishment, mental health, and executive functioning. The research outlined the significant effect of aspects of personality on birth order.

Birth Order and Personality: A Within-Family Test Using Independent Self-Reports from Both Firstborn and Later Born Siblings by April Bleske-Rechek and Jenna A. Kelley

Bleske-Rechek & Kelley (2013) presents a study which evaluates the effects of birth order on the personality. According to Bleske-Rechek & Kelley, comparing siblings indicates weak to moderate trend effects on personality. The use of complete family design for studying the impact of birth order has not been fully implemented. A study of the big five personality traits on 69 young adults ranging from the firstborn to later born pairs of siblings, as well as details from parents and peers, indicated, differed precise results when presented as a function of birth order. The consistency of the results was based on the family-based designs as it shows other information on the setting of effects on birth order on multiple families. In this light, birth order lacks a substantial impact on the personality.

The Association between Birth Order and Self-reported Personality Characteristics of Siblings in a within-family Design by Christin P. ConstenThe study digs into the connection between birth order position and the particular personality constructs. Importantly, the study seeks to evaluate the birth order effect that leads to aligns the development of various personality characteristics in children of the same family or children in the same age group. According to the hypothesis, successive siblings differ from each other compared to non-successive siblings who are presented in this case as variables that are alike. The study established questionnaires which were filled online with the results of the first, second and third born correlated. The results of the study indicated no significant correlation between the measured traits and birth order.

Investigating the Effects Birth Order Has on Personality, Self-Esteem, Satisfaction with Life and Age. By Sharon Johnson

The study by Johnson (2014) examines the controversy behind the concept of the order of birth and its effects on personality traits, self-esteem as well as satisfaction with life experiences fr4om the age of 18 to 40 and over 40 years. two-hundred participants took part in the research which was contacted through online questionnaires. The study questionnaires measured birth order, personality, life satisfaction, and self-esteem. The differences were tested by ANOVA. Results highlighted the positive correlation between last borns and openness compared middle-born counterparts. Satisfaction was highly linked to extraversion along with self-esteem. On the other hand, it was negatively linked to neuroticism.

The Effect of Birth Order on Personality Traits and Academic Performance at Sample of Families in Jordan by Majed Al- KhayatThe study tried creating an understanding of the birth effects on personality traits on the performance in academics based on a sample from the Salt City in Jordan. An examination of the possibility of the variations was based on sex, a number of family members and the economic level. The study was based on a study sample of 285 people represented in 60 families from the entire Salt governorate. The study entailed the evaluation of industry vs. inferiority and intimacy vs. isolation. The study results indicated that there are various statistical differences regarding birth order.


Al-Khayat, M. M., & AL-Adwan, F. E. Z. (2016). The Effect of Birth Order on Personality Traits and Academic Performance at Sample of Families in Jordan. European Journal of Social Sciences, 52(2), 151-161.

The article evaluates the effects of birth order on the personality traits as well as the impact on the academic performance based on the evaluation of families sampled from Salt City in Jordan. The study brings out the perception of birth order on personality traits as well as the possible impact on the academic performance of the children based on their birth order. According to the findings of the study, birth order affects the personality of particular individuals. However, this contradicts with Rohrer et al. (2015) who cites that birth order has no significant influence on personality traits. The study, however, lacks the representation of the entire society. Its research was based on the Jordan society which upholds different culture and parenting style which influence the personality traits as well as the academic impact of the associated children.

Bleske-Rechek, A., & Kelley, J. A. (2014). Birth order and personality: A within-family test using independent self-reports from both firstborn and later-born siblings. Personality and Individual Differences, 56, 15-18.

The study analyses the association between birth order and personality within a family setting. In this case, a review is carried out on siblings, and the resultant influence of birth order evaluated. The study results compliment Rohrer et al., (2015) study by citing a lack of connection between birth order and personality. The utilized complete family design which lacks a similar study to gauge the accuracy of the results.

Consten, C. P. (2017). The association between birth order and self-reported personality characteristics of siblings in a within-family design (Master's thesis, University of Twente).

The article presents the association of birth order and the self-reported personality of siblings in a family setting. It highlights the lack of significant effect of birth order on personality traits among siblings. In this light, the study contradicted with Sulloway (2007) postulates of detectable differences associated with birth order. Psychological mechanisms on which the study was based on act differently in distinct settings and families. This brings about the limitation of the study.

Gustafson, C. (2010). The effects of birth order on personality. Unpublished Master Thesis). The Faculty of the Alfred Adler Graduate School, Minneapolis, ABD.

The article relates to the research topic as it aims at pointing out the effects illuminated on personality based on the birth order. According to the article, birth order has a significant influence on particular personality traits. The findings of the article conform with the study findings presented by Al-Khayat & AL-Adwan, (2016) articulating the impact of birth order on personality. The study is based on empirical analysis of other studies which does not present facts concerning the connection of birth order and personality. This outlines the main limitation to the findings of the study.

Johnson, S. (2014). Investigating the effects birth order has on personality, self-esteem, satisfaction with life and age.

The article presents an evaluation of the role played by birth order on personality, self-esteem as well as life and age satisfaction. The study highlights the research topic is bringing out an evaluation of the impact of birth order on the personality traits exhibited. The study findings indicated various attributes linking birth order and personality influence. This study conforms with Gustafson's (2010) study which reported a significant connection between birth order and the personality traits. However, the self-esteem and satisfaction with life and age factor can be attributed to other factors such as the environment and the social interactions. In this case, they cannot adequately explain the role played by birth order.

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