22 Mar 2022


Birth Order and Development of Personality

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

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Birth is the process of bringing forth a new individual from the womb into a new environment. The young one new surroundings are set to determine the growth and development of the child's personality and behavior. New children tend to ape the valuable and meaningful characters from their parents. For instance, a child is first introduced to the society's aspect of love by the mother who first accords it the much-needed love and affection. Eventually, the child grows knowing that everyone should be accorded everyone regardless of their status in the society. On the other side of the flip, birth order is the sequence in which an individual is brought out of the womb.

According to McCrae , et al. (2016), birth order plays a crucial role in the growth and development of an individual's, character, personality, brilliance and various decisions in the personal growth process. This task, therefore, seeks to explain how the birth order in a family relates to an individual's personality growth and development, relationships, intelligence and social attitudes. A child's personality is well nurtured and cultured by his or her birth order in a family. For, instance the first-born kid is usually perceived to be excessively burdened with a responsibility which eventually molds him or her to be a charismatic leader, hardworking, perfectionist and loving.

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Types of birth order 

The different kinds of birth order are namely actual birth order; which entails the sequence in which an individual is brought into the world that is the first child, the only child, second child or last child. Psychological order takes into details how an individual perceives his roles in the family which he or she comes from (McCrae , et al. 2016).

Birth order is a mechanism that aids an individual in comprehending his or her roles in the family. Birth order entails the following order whereby the first child to be out of the womb acquires the title, oldest while that one who follows the first born is referred as middle, young and only in that particular sequence. Every child order in the family is characterized by different personality traits that manifest the role various roles played by different family members all the way from the eldest, middle, young and only. Birth order is brought to shape by the manner in which the parents nurture and inculcate knowledge into their children's mind. For instance, if children are brought up by irresponsible and drug addict parents, most their kids will emulate their way of life. Children will follow their mother's bad behavior since they been accustomed to their father's illegal actions (McCrae , et al. 2016).

How birth order affects an individual's personality

The family upbringing of first born children can immensely change their character in aspects such as the capacity of intellect, responsibility, and level of maturity. First born children often receive much protection from their parents and later on reciprocate the same accountability and love to the following family members. Maturity and sense of direction are usually showcased by the first born. Children who are born first also tend to mature faster since they spend the better part of their time with adults. Growing with adults makes them relatively mature for their age. Children who are brought to the world to start a new life are also; highly motivated, perfectionists and with greater academic achievement. Firstborn are usually perceived to be brighter than their siblings determined for even brighter future. First born children are also natural leaders and often provide guidelines to their siblings. As leaders, they inspire hope to their siblings to get out of their comfort zones. Younger siblings are usually motivated by the kind of decorum shown by their elder brothers. Old children are always confident and like taking charge of their responsibilities in the responsibility. First born children are ambitious and organized .those children delivered first also tend to protect their younger brothers and sisters. For instance, if the eldest person in the family is a boy and the rest are girls then the boy will be overprotective to his sisters for them not to be harmed.

Middle children usually express low self-esteem as a result of them having little attention from their parents and less interaction with others grown-ups. Middle children always feel squeezed out of their families since their opinions are usually second after that of the first born. Contrary to their first born counterparts, middle children are typically rebellious .envious and less responsible in their assigned roles. Middle children tend to be pushed so as to perform their tasks diligently. They always see their lives as miserable. The second born is indeed the most challenging individuals to handle since they tend to compete with the old ones in a way that is not accepted. They always feel that they were brought to this world late so that the old ones should enjoy much of the family privileges, power, and authority. A middle child serves as teachers and students at the same time. Most of the middle children's personality is usually determined by how they are positioned in the family. Children will be pleasers if they are well treated and ant agonizers if wrongly handled. Flexibility is part of they and they are always ready to embrace any lifestyle presented to them. 

Middle children are mentally tough because they experience much rejection from their parents hence getting them accustomed to hard life. They are also not very social able hence tend to be highly secretive with their matters

Last born children as considered as the babies in the family, their personality entails being extremely social able, open to new experiences, accessible and easy going. These characters help them to get along with other family members. The last born is the most loved in the family, and everyone's attention is usually on them.

Effects of birth order in relationships

Birth order plays an essential role in constructive relationships. Couples or friends with the compatible birth order can quickly solve I dispute that may arise between them with easy and within a shorter time since they can mutually agree on appointing. Individuals with different personality will make the perfect couples since both of them will learn to tolerate and appreciate each other.

For instance, if a gentleman who was born first to their family ties a knot with a lady who was brought to the world first in her family, then the scenario perfectly describes the ideal best couples ever. Couples will appreciate and love each other's background. Both couples will continue to enjoy the kind of love that existed before in their various families. The couple will still benefit from the kind of fun that they used to have in their families. The girl will still play the mother role to the gentleman, and the gentleman will reciprocate by giving her all the love that he ever gave to his family members. The young will teach the eldest to have fun. Moreover, the most elderly will teach the youngest to be more responsible and organized as stated by Nijjar, Ellenbogen and Hodgins (2016).The process culminates into a fruitful and long relationship. 

When people of the same birth rate come together as one, the opposite happens. Couples will have difficulty is communicating to each other. Disagreements between the couples are not easily resolved since none of the couples is ready to accept the mistake. According to Strachan, Fraser-Thomas and Nelson-Ferguson (2016), couples bring their egos, and no one is willing to carry the cross for the other. A couple with same birth rate always rubs into each other shoulders because they are not able to communicate their issues with one another. The relationship turns sour because both of the couples try to perfect them and not to learn and invest in building each other.

Birth order and intelligence

Children who were first brought to the world from the womb might manifest a high caliber of intelligence as opposed to those that were born later. Children who are born first are assumed to have received much parental attention. The younger siblings might also score good grades in school because of the guidance received of those siblings who were first brought into the new environment. Additionally, younger siblings might also outdo the older siblings by trying to overcome challenges that were initially faced by their older siblings. Younger children will also try all the means and ways to win their parent's affection and attention by doing what the older siblings cannot perform best. Exposure to new experiences might also make the younger sibling sharper than the rest of the family. However, older siblings will always be the most intelligent owing to the fact of them being perfectionists and hardworking by birth order (McCrae , et al. 2016).

Birth order and social attitudes

Social attitudes are an inherited likelihood to scrutinize social things in a particular way. It is usually characterized by emotional, cognitive and behavioral components .Moreover; it entails positive and negative perceptions, emotions and set of manners towards a certain being. Birth order has impacted immensely on social attitudes in various societal levels. For instance, if a child is to be straight forward in his or her dealings then it’s upon the parents be worthy of emulation. New individuals with proper upbringing are more likely to grow into mature and responsible adults. Positive social attitude can be inculcated into the minds of the children by their various siblings. Mature siblings can impact positively on the social attitude of the last born by reframing events. Older siblings should always be available to correct and advice the younger siblings. By so doing, the younger generation is presented with the opportunity to tackle life issues confidently and in a more decisive manner. By contrasting, if the younger siblings are not properly guided then the converse is true. Children who are not mentored and directed in a proper direction are more likely to misplace their priorities in life. Some of them will engage themselves in illegal activities such as drug and substance abuse .Birth order, therefore can positively and negatively impact the lives of a family. Parents should nurture their kinds in the acceptable ways of the society.


The birth order determines to a larger extent a child’s personality traits. As an individual grows, he or she interacts with the parents who inculcates in them the society accepted values such as love and compassion. During the early stages of the first child to be brought to the other surrounding he or she gets accustomed to traits such as hard work, determination, and ambition. Firstborn are perceived to be more intelligent, mature and least emotional. Middle born is taken to be people who are envious and cowards. The last born is known to be talkative and rebellious. Only children were ranked highest in creativity. Most importantly, birth order nurtures an individual intelligence and general level of maturity.


McCrae, R. R., Terracciano, A., Costa, P., & Brant, L. (2016). Hierarchical Linear Modeling Analyses of the NEO-PI-R Scales in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Psychology and Aging , 20 (3).

Nijjar, R., Ellenbogen, M. A., & Hodgins, S. (2016). Sexual Risk Behaviors in the Adolescent Offspring of Parents with Bipolar Disorder: Prospective Associations with Parents’ Personality and Externalizing Behavior in Childhood. Journal of abnormal child psychology , 1-13.

Strachan, L., Fraser-Thomas, J., & Nelson-Ferguson, K. (2016). An Ecological Perspective on High Performance Sport and Positive Youth Development. Positive Youth Development through Sport , 57.

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