July 27, 2014
The research on the subject of the birth order has been strongly influenced by Alfred Adler; he is one of the first theorists that had suggested that birth order influences personality. Adler’s research was conducted in the early 1870’s and since much; more research has been carried out on birth order and personality. Adler theory consist of the birth order, first born a child, the middle child, the youngest child, only child and twins. Other research of the birth order focuses on the family structure system, birth order traits, birth order characteristics, and how family size affects the characteristics of the birth order.
Adler theory is that birth order profoundly influences individual lifestyle, friendships, and love, sibling and work relationships. However, Adler points out that there are other factors that should be considered as well, such as family size, the years between siblings and the changing dynamics of the family over time. Adler along with many other researchers agree that the first-born child is different from all the other children. Adler believes that many first-born children are subject to excessive attention and pampering (Burger, 2011, p. 99).
Adler suggests that first- born children experience inferiority when a new child is introduced into the family dynamics, the attention that was once focused on the first –born must now be shared. With this train of thought, Adler suggests that first – born children become problem children, that they are neurotic, criminals, drunkards and perverts (Burger, 2011, p. 99). Others theories are that many first – born go through feelings of rejection with the birth of other siblings and experience feelings of being unloved by their mothers when attention now directed to the newborn child. ("Birth Order," 2004)
Among other researchers, there is a common agreement that the first-born have many of the same characteristics, such as leadership based...