Birth Order • The Oldest Child • The Middle Child • The Youngest Child • The Only Child The Oldest Child • Feels pressure to fulfill parental expectations • High Achievers • Feels overly responsible • Follows the rules • Defends the status quo • Examples: Rush Limbaugh, Hillary Clinton • Cultural Factors: The oldest male expected to take over the family business. The Middle Child • Confused about their identity since they follow the oldest • Sensitive to being left out or slighted • Seek other ways to be unique • Becomes the rebel • Examples: Howard Stern, Madonna, Malcolm X, comedians e.g. Jay Leno, David Letterman • Take up left wing, liberal causes e.g. Martin Luther King, Yasir Arafat, Oprah Winfrey etc. The Youngest Child • Easy going and carefree • Clown or show-off in the family • Play the victim role and depend on their charm and manipulation to get their way • Girls: spontaneous, cheerful, bratty, trouble making decisions, wants it all. • Boys: daring, headstrong, rebellious, compared unfavorably to older brothers and becomes a comedian to cope e.g. Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan The Only Child • They have the parents undivided attention • Self-assured, secure, self-reliant • Not confident getting along with peers since they have no siblings. • Take on the qualities of the over-achieving oldest and the pampered youngest. • Highly developed verbal skills and act like miniature adults • Examples: Ted Koppel, Brooke Shields, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan Birth Order Considerations • Five years or more between age of siblings invalidates the correlations • If parent believes girls shouldn’t be achieving than an older girl may not fulfill the achieving oldest birth order quality. • Highly successful business women were either the oldest, only, or had no brothers according to a study of business women in the U.S.
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