Posted by & filed under Child Development, Families and Peers, Human Development, Interpersonal Attraction Close Relationships, Personality, Social Psychology, The Self.

Description: What is your birth order within your family? Were you an only child? A first born? A middle child? A youngest child? What about your friends or your partner? Think about your initial reactions or your stereotyped (off the top of your head) thoughts about how First, Middle, Youngest or Only children vary in terms of their behaviours and their expectations within relationships. Your hypotheses on this question may go beyond the effects of attachment relationships I discussed last week. Once you have come up with a few hypotheses about the possible relationships between birth order and relationships have a look through the article linked below and see how you did.

Source: What Your Birth Order Can Tell You About Your Love Life, Brittany Wong, The Huffington Post.

Date: January 23, 2017

Photo Credit:  Linda Blair, Piatkus

Links:  Article Link —

The article linked above provided a number of statements about the relationship between birth order and relationships. Were there any surprises for you? It is important to keep the author’s statement about effect sizes in mind. Other factors are also involved in relationship process and the effects of birth order are not very large and certainly NOT always at play. The other thing to notice is that the article linked above only talks about the idea that the statements made were supported by research and does not actually talk about that research. If you want to look into this further or think further about how it might apply to you or to your relationships you should do “first born diligence” and go and find some of the research to read directly first before deciding to give up or to change how you proceed in relationships.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How might birth order be related to relationship style or status?
  2. Why might the relationship issues you noted above be found in relationships (why does birth order do what it seems to do)?
  3. What steps might one take if one decides there are things about their birth order related approach to relationships they might want to change?

References (Read Further):

Blair, L. (2011). Birth Order: What your position in the family really tells you about your character. Hachette UK.

Combs-Draughn, A. J. (2016). The impact of psychological birth order on academic achievement and motivation.

Kerslake, A. (2016). Children in the middle. Early Years Educator, 17(10), 31-33.

Salmon, C. (2003). Birth order and relationships. Human Nature, 14(1), 73-88.

Shah, M. D. P., & Jadav, M. (2016). To what extent does Birth Order affect our personality?. International Journal of Social Impact, Volume 1, Issue 3, 2016, 85.