Personality: The Birth Order Effect

Have you ever wondered why you and your siblings are so different? Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychologist researched the effects of birth order on personality and concluded that the makeup of a family contributed to the personality of each member. In other words, the order in which one is born (first, second, last, etc.) could influence an individual’s psychological makeup. Perhaps you’re more responsible than your younger sibling because you were born first!

Listed below are certain characteristics that are found to be attributable to the different kinds of birth orders:

First child:

  • Achiever
  • Leader
  • Perfectionist
  • Responsible

Middle child:

  • Peacemaker
  • Social
  • Easy-going
  • Secretive

Youngest child:

  • Risk-taker
  • Outgoing
  • Creative
  • Sense of humor

Only child:

  • Leader
  • Perfectionist
  • Mature
  • Confident

Now remember, whether you were born first or last does not necessarily dictate how you will develop as a person. These are just tendencies. The youngest child may be more responsible than the first child. You don’t have to let your birth order determine your life!

If you believe that you or a loved one has or may be having family difficulties, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can help you. Please contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201)-368-3700 or (212)-722-1920 to set up an appointment, or visit for more information.


By: Jenny Barbosa


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