Birth Order refers to the position a child is born into, that is, whether he/she is the first, middle or last-born. Although, there can be many specific positions, such as second, third, etc. but in general the most frequently researched positions are the only, first, middle and last. According to research, birth order plays a significant role in the formation of a child’s personality. In general, first-borns tend to be goal setters, high achievers, middle-borns are competitive, diplomatic, while last-borns are said to be risk takers and idea people. Birth order, however, is not the only factor that influences a child’s personality. Elements such as parental involvement, genetics, socio-economic standing, etc. play a major role in shaping a child’s personality.

There have been numerous researches on whether birth order actually has an affect on a child’s personality. Most of them agree to the fact that it plays an important role for personality development and that children of the same birth order do depict certain similar characteristics. Researchers, however, remain unconvinced by the fact that birth order is the only element shaping personality or that it affects all aspects of a child’s personality.

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The Psychological and Social Effects of Birth Order

Even though the belief that birth order is the singular element affecting personality development has never been entirely appreciated, it affects a child’s interaction with parents and siblings and thus, influences personality growth and social conduct throughout one’s life. Interaction difference due to a child’s birth position causes obvious and distinct personality traits to develop, resulting in behavioral differences.
Birth order effects begin early in one’s life, within the first two years, with the exception of the first born because he/she may become the first born as late as five years. Once established, birth order effects continue for life.