• Yes I am, and there might be. I don't fight for my parents attention though. I'd rather be left alone. Wait, does that fall into the middle child syndrome? I dunno, but, from what I've read on it, it seems like it's true for me.
  • Well, in the relationship between my two younger sisters and myself, the middle one is different. She is blonde, blue eyed, always feminine, creative, good at sports, well organised. My youngest sister and I are brunettes with brown eyes, more intellectual, totally disorganised, tomboys as kids, non-sporting - like chalk and cheese, although as adults we all get on well. My three sons are now in their 30's and the oldest & youngest loathe the middle one. He has always been different - difficult, aggressive, addictive, and generally leaves a path of destruction everywhere he goes.
  • As we know the middle one is confused about where he belongs. But wouldn't the oldest have his own problems and so will the youngest. If a parent can succeed in bringing the attention of the child to what he has instead of what he just can't, some pain of growing up can be escaped.
  • I am not but my daughter is and YES it is ture I caught myself doing it all the time. She gets pushed aside or left out because she is not old enough to do things with the older kids I realize I do it to her and try not to but it just happens
  • yes im a middle child and felt unloved and different to my sisters and still struggle to fit in.
  • I'm an only child. However, from what I've observed with Middle children, I think there is SOMETHING to The Theory. My Mom was the Middle child (and the only girl) between two brothers. She definitely had some behaviors and issues, not ones that interfered with her ability to function and be happy, but ones that were somewhat typical of the Theory. My Partner was the Middle child between an older sister and a younger brother. While we are close to her family, (Mom has passed, Dad remarried, StepMom is a total peach and we love her)...there are some rather odd bits of family history. The other two sort of given more preference, it seems to me. As an adult, when Dad started "getting rid" of things that they grew up with the older sister and brother got first dibs. (The younger brother is also gay, lives with HIS partner of 12 years and came out first, plus they are very loving, supportive and accepting of us, so I don't think it's a "gay issue.") My partner was a real Daddies Girl, the son he never had. I know Dad loves her, but the history is just a bit inconsistent. The only logical factor IS the stereotypical Middle Child Theory.
  • Yes, me. My middle child syndrome has developed to the point that I'm distant from not only my brothers by my parents. Being the middle child pretty much led me to liking my own space at home.
  • There definitely is. The order of birth in a family has great impact upon the character of a child. Many books have been written on it. Wikipedia The phrase birth order is defined as a person's rank by age among his or her siblings. Birth order is commonly believed to have a profound and lasting effect on psychological development. Although this assertion has been repeatedly challenged by researchers, birth order continues to have a strong presence in pop psychology and popular culture. Theories Alfred Adler (1870-1937), an Austrian psychiatrist, and a contemporary of Sigmund Freud and Gustav Jung, was one of the first theorists to suggest that birth order influences personality. He argued that birth order often can leave an indelible impression on the individual's style of life, which is a habitual way of dealing with the tasks of friendship, love, and work. Other factors that may be equally influential are: parental attitudes; organ inferiority, illness, and disability; gender confusion; or social, economic and religious circumstances. Any overburdening factor may intensify normal inferiority feelings and lead to unconscious compensations or over-compensations (i.e, an extremely talented older or younger sibling). Other birth order factors that should be considered are: the spacing in years between siblings; the total number of children; and the changing circumstances of the parents over time. Adler suggested that birth order does not cause any direction of personality development, but it may be used by the individuals as a building brick for their freely chosen style of life and fictional final goal. Many researchers, in attempting to prove or disprove the sole effects of birth order, cite the complexity of other influences. The influence of birth order on the development of personality is a controversial issue in psychology. It is widely believed that personality is strongly influenced by birth order, but many psychologists dispute this. Personality psychologists largely (though by no means without debate) agree that the Big five personality traits (also known as Five Factor) represent something like a natural taxonomy of human personality variables. Cross-linguistically the vast majority of adjectives used to describe human personality fit into one of the following five areas, easily remembered by the acronym OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. In his book Born to Rebel, Frank Sulloway suggests that birth order effects on the Big Five are strong and consistent. He argues that firstborns to be more conscientious, more socially dominant, less agreeable, and less open to new ideas compared to laterborns. However, critics such as Fred Townsend, Toni Falbo, and Judith Rich Harris, claim to have refuted Sulloway's theories. An issue of Politics and the Life Sciences, dated September, 2000 but not published until 2004[citation needed] due to legal threats from Sulloway (who claimed its content to be defamatory, although it was carefully and rigorously researched and sourced), contains criticisms of Sulloway's theories, including studies that show conflicting findings. In their book Sibling Relationships: Their Nature and Significance across the Lifespan Michael E. Lamb, Brian Sutton-Smith, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates make the point that sibling relationships often last an entire lifetime. They point out that the lifespan view proposes that development is continuous, with individuals continually adjusting to the competing demands of socialization agents and endogenous tendencies. Thus, even those concerned only with interactions among young siblings implicitly or explicitly acknowledge that all relationships change over time and that any "effects" may be eliminated, reinforced, or altered by later experiences. Family roles govern the perceived expectations and responsibilities placed on children by parents and siblings. Children's perception of their place in the family constellation influences how they feel about themselves and how they interact with others (Koffman & Johnson, 1993 in Nims, 1998). It is also possible that children internalize roles and traits determined by their birth order. [edit] Firstborn Firstborns are typically believed to be serious, conscientious, directive, goal-oriented, aggressive, rule-conscious, exacting, conservative, organized, responsible, jealous, fearful, high achieving, competitive, high in self-esteem, and anxious. They may learn the concept of power at a young age, and this can be expressed in their desire to help, protect and lead others. The firstborn may also demonstrates the need to regain praise from their parents that they received before their siblings were born. The first born may come to feel unloved through the perceived loss of mother's love to the new baby. Adler (1964) referred to this as being "dethroned" by the younger sibling. Later in life the firstborn may become authoritarian or strict. A firstborn's common feeling of a fear of losing the top position may make them more risk averse, and thus less likely to embark on a new venture. There are several aspects of the family structure that pertain to firstborn children. First time parents are usually highly anxious and "sweat all the details." They document every milestone, celebrate each small achievement, and worry if it comes later than expected. They put the firstborn child under a lot of pressure to succeed. In addition to parental behavior, the firstborn child is often shocked by the introduction of a competitor into the family. This may lead to sibling rivalry. On the other hand, younger siblings often idolize the first born, putting the first born in a position of leader of the children of the family. [edit] Middleborn Middleborn children have a diverse range of personalities. The habits of many middleborns are motivated by the fact that they have never been truly in the spotlight. The firstborn always seems to be achieving and pioneering ahead, while the younger sibling is secure in his or her niche as the entertainer of the family. Middleborn children are often believed to be natural mediators, They tend to have fewer pictures in the family photo album alone, compared to firstborns. Middleborn children may avoid conflict. They may also be highly loyal to the peer group and have many friends. The middle born child may develop good social skills and have an easier time growing up with an other-centered point of view. It has been suggested that middleborn children are more likely to be entrepreneurs. Karen E. Klein, a Los Angeles-based writer, suggested that a middleborn's innate skills in diplomacy plus their flexibility in ideas make them more successful in entrepreneurship. The middle child may have an even-temper and a take it or leave it attitude Alfred Adler (1964) believed that the middle child feels squeezed out of a position of privilege and significance. The child is internally compelled to find peace within the family and may have trouble finding a place or become a fighter of injustice. [edit] Youngest The names given to the youngest child are revealing: the youngest child of the family is viewed as the baby of the family, an outgoing charmer, or an entertainer who is unafraid to test his or her luck. While this is certainly not true of all youngest siblings, proponents of this theory state that the youngest of the family is an endearing, and delightful friend. The youngest child is often babied or "pampered" more than the other siblings. This "pampering," according to Adler, is one of the worst behaviors a parent can bestow on a child. "Pampering" can lead to dependence, and selfishness as well as irresponsibility when the youngest enters adulthood. However, this is not true of all families and of course these characteristics can be present in the oldest, as well as the middle children. Some parents are strict or barely affectionate to their kids or do not have the money to spoil or pamper their children. Youngest children can easily become manipulative and control-seeking if their sibling(s), parents, or other peers are overbearing or bossy. [edit] Only children Main article: Only child (Notice that a firstborn child is temporarily an only child.) Only children may have characteristics of either the first born or the youngest child. Adler (1964) believed that because only children have no rivals for their parents' affection, they may be pampered and spoiled by their parents, particularly the mother. He suggested that this could cause later interpersonal difficulties if the person is not universally liked and admired. Another view of only children, as noted by Alissa Eischens in her paper The Dilemma of the Only Child is that they learn to be children on their own, they learn to depend on themselves, and they have no problem being loners. Naturally introverted only children may show extroverted qualities if he or she wishes to make friends. On the other hand, naturally extroverted children may learn to show introverted qualities by being content to focus on their thoughts when playmates are unavailable. [edit] Twins Twins tend to organize themselves according to their overall place within the family. If they have one older sibling, they may both exhibit characteristics of a second born. If they are the oldest, they may adopt traits associated with first borns. Cliff Isaacson, author of "The Birth Order Effect" believes that birth order traits in twins are also impacted by their status as twins. He explains, "The organization seems to result from one of the twins being dominant, resulting in that one having the older Birth Order. It does not seem to have much relevance to the order in which they were actually born. The Birth Order personalities of twins are often more intense than in normal Birth Order. Because they are the same age and capability, the dominant one has to work harder at being dominant thus reinforcing the Birth Order personalities of both." [edit] Personality research Most of the claims about birth order have not been supported by scientific research. Indeed, many of the traits believed to be associated with different birth positions appear to contradict each other. Only children are supposedly more extraverted because they need to go outside of the family to meet other children, yet they are also believed to be more introverted so they can tolerate being by themselves. In fact, Extraversion and Introversion are stable personality traits, and they are related more strongly to genetic factors than to birth order. Firstborns are attributed with a variety of traits that do not even correlate with each other, much less with birth order. In general, birth order effects are weaker than commonly believed. In practice, systematic birth order research is a challenge because it is difficult to control for all of the variables that are statistically related to birth order. Family size, and a number of social and demographic variables are associated with birth order and serve as potential confounds. For example, large families are generally lower in socioeconomic status than small families. This means that third born children are not only third in birth order, but they are also more likely to come from larger, poorer families than firstborn children. If thirdborns have a particular trait, it may be due to birth order, or it may be due family size, or to any number of other variables. It is often impossible to determine which variable is the actual cause of the observed trait. This methodological issue has plagued research in this area. Spacing of children, parenting style, and gender are additional variables to consider. Consequently, there is a large number of published studies on birth order that vary widely in quality and are inconsistent in their conclusions. Literature reviews that have examined many studies and attempted to control for confounding variables tend to find minimal effects for birth order. Ernst and Angst (1983) reviewed all of the research published between 1946 and 1980. They also did their own study on a representative sample of 6,315 young men from Switzerland. They found no substantial effects of birth order and concluded that birth order research was a "waste of time." More recently, Jefferson, Herbst, and McCrae (1998) analyzed data from a national sample of 9,664 subjects on the Big five personality traits of extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Contrary to Sulloway's predictions, they found no significant correlation between birth order and self-reported personality. There was, however, some tendency for people to perceive birth order effects when they were aware of the birth order of an individual. In her review of the scientific literature, Judith Rich Harris (1998) suggests that birth order effects may exist within the context of the family of origin, but that they are not enduring aspects of personality. When people are with their parents and siblings, firstborns behave differently than laterborns, even during adulthood. However, most people don't spend their adult lives in their childhood home. Harris provides evidence that the patterns of behavior acquired in the childhood home don't affect the way people behave outside the home, even during childhood. Harris concludes that birth order effects keep turning up because people keep looking for them, and keep analyzing and reanalyzing their data until they find them. [edit] Intelligence Summary of the findings of Belmont and Marolla. Scores on Raven's Progressive Matrices relate to birth order and family size.Since the 1970s, one of the most influential theories to explain why firstborns frequently score higher on intelligence and achievement tests than other children is the confluence model of Robert Zajonc. This model states that because firstborns mainly have adult influences around them in their early years, they will spend their initial years of life interacting in a highly intellectual family environment. This effect may also be observed in siblings who, although later born, have a sibling at least five years senior with no siblings in between. These children are considered to be "functional firstborns". The theory further suggests that firstborns will be more intelligent than only children, because the latter will not benefit from the "tutor effect" (i.e. teaching younger siblings). Zajonc's theory has been criticised for confounding birth order with both age and family size, and alternative theories (such as Resource Depletion Theory) have been offered to explain the Belmont and Marolla findings. In a meta-analysis of the research, Polit and Falbo (1988) found that firstborns, only children, and children with one other sibling score higher on tests of verbal ability than laterborns and children with multiple siblings. This effect suggests that smaller families lead to children with higher test scores. Because there was no specific advantage for firstborn children, the results are consistent with Resource Depletion Theory, but not the confluence model. The basic finding that firstborns have higher IQ scores has been disputed. One group of researchers examined data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), which gave them the opportunity to look at a large randomly selected, national sample of families. The sample included children whose academic performance had been reviewed multiple times throughout their academic careers. This study found no relationship between birth order and intelligence (Rodgers, Cleveland, Van den Oord, & Rowe, 2000). [edit] Sexuality The fraternal birth order effect is the name given to the observation that the more older brothers a man has, the greater the probability is that he will have a homosexual sexual orientation. The fraternal birth order effect is the strongest known predictor of sexual orientation, each older brother increases a man's odds of being a homosexual by about 33% (Blanchard, 2001, Puts et al. 2006). Even so, the fraternal birth order effect only accounts for a maximum of one seventh of the prevalence of homosexuality in men. There seems to be no effect on sexual orientation in women, and no effect of the number of older sisters. In the book, Homosexuality, Birth Order, and Evolution: Toward an Equilibrium Reproductive Economics of Homosexuality, Edward M. Miller suggests that the birth order effect on homosexuality may be a by-product of an evolved, biological mechanism that shifts personality toward the feminine direction in laterborn sons. This would have the consequence of reducing the probability of these sons engaging in unproductive competition with each other. [edit] References Adler, A. (1964). Problems of neurosis. New York: Harper and Row. Belmont, M., & Marolla, F.A. (1973). "Birth order, family size, and intelligence". Science 182: 1096–1101. Ernst, C. & Angst, J. (1983). Birth order: Its influence on personality. Springer. Harris, J. R. (1998). The nurture assumption: Why children turn out the way they do. New York: Free Press. Jefferson, T., Herbst, J. H., & McCrae, R. R. (1998). Associations between birth order and personality traits: Evidence from self-reports and observer ratings. Journal of Research in Personality, 32, 498-509. Lamb, M. E., Sutton-Smith, B. (1982).Sibling Relationships: Their Nature and Significance across the Lifespan. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Leman, K. (1985). The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are. New York: Dell Publishing. Polit, D. F. & Falbo, T. (1988). The intellectual achievement of only children. Journal of Biosocial Science, 20, 275-285. Rodgers, J. L., Cleveland, H. H., van den Oord, E. and Rowe, D. (2000). Resolving the Debate Over Birth Order, Family Size and Intelligence. American Psychologist, Vol. 55.
  • G'day Charmaine Jay, Thank you for your question. It seems that there is such a syndrome where a middle child or children feels lost between the cracks. Alternatively, they can grow up with less pressure and better interpersonal skills. Personally, I think that the eldest child has it tough but I am an oldest child. I have attached sources for your reference. Regards References Wikipedia Birth Order MSNBC Indian parenting Middle Child Syndrome
  • hi, my name is Cameron,not many kids ask this.but my mom just had a baby, I have an older brother aswell. I am 15, My dad and mom got a divorce when I was 9 and my dad married a woman now she's my step mom, she had 2 kids so that made 4 of until the baby came, I have 3 older brothers, then I have the baby so its baby>me>clay>scott>landon My mom moved to Huntsville I see her on the weekends, I miss her way to much, she doesnt realized it, but me and her used to hang out everyday watch tv and ahve fun.. and talk about everything, now we never talk to each other, Im afraid to talk to her, my dad is the type od dad that would just tell me t o man up, but this is starting to effect my School, and sports... All I do is most time at night miss her and remember good memories, and starting to get depressed, and missing the old days... what should I do?
  • Yes and yes
  • I am a middle child, but some tell me birth order theories dont apply as much if the children are spaced out 5 or more years in birth from each other like me and my siblings are. Can anyone post a link on the middle child theory?
  • I am a middle child (I have a sister who is two years older and a sister who is two years younger) and I think there is some validity to the 'middle child syndrome.' Though I don't think that I had to fight for my parents attention (my parents did their best to treat us all equally), I did want to distinguish myself from my siblings. I had much different interests and hobbies than my sisters and my parents. I was a very strange child and I didn't feel like I fit in the same mold as the rest of my family. Years later, (I'm 23 now), I have a healthy relationship with all my family members and I'm glad that I embraced my quirkiness because it helped me become who I am today. I know this may seem vague and cliche but it really is the truth.
  • The oldest/first born usually is the one the parents put their hopes and dreams on. If there is only enough for one child to go to college, it will generally be the first. The youngest/last born is usually the much loved baby. Even when all three are grown up, the youngest is still the baby. The middle child gets what's left, which is often not much. The middle child must fend for his/her self. But with a chip on his/her shoulder and without being pampered and babied, the middle child is often determined to prove his/her worth and does so in grand sytle.
  • I am not a middle child, but I do have a middle sibling. And, yes, it's real. It's because of the way parents typically act toward their children. The middle child usually gets much less attention! The middle child is also often left out of things. It's alright now. We're grown up, and she's my favorite sibling. I'm going to give her attention, whether she wants it or not!
  • i think there is some validity to it. I am the "middle child" so i can kind of understand, even though i wasn't the only middle child. it was like all the other kids had their "niche" in the family, and i wasn't sure where i belonged EXCEPT for the middle. my oldest sibling was the problem child. that was his part. my older sibling was the daddies' girl. my little brother was the baby. and my newest littler siblings were the change of life surprise. i was just there.
  • Yup...3 older sisters and 3 younger brothers... oldest sister (single birth) then twin girls, then me...then twin brothers and my littlest brother...Grrr yup right in the middle but I turned out fine...
  • Economically the middle kids receive the least support! The oldest and the youngest receive the most! I would expect the middle ones to be the best and strongest of all! They are most likely to be the ones most capable of taking care of themselves!
  • Yes I am. There is a book titled "The birth order book" or something similar that does a great job explaining the effects of being born in any specific order. It may interest you.
  • I am not a middle child, I am the oldest, but it is so true...all the typical things happened to my brother who is in the middle. The "Jan Brady" situation haha
  • Been going through quite deep episodes of depression latley. I have never been so despising of my parents before like.. ever :o. I see my little brother as a spoilt little idiot :) and my big sister as a egotystical, self-centered buffoon. Yeap, I am a middle child ^^ and didin't really know why i was having all of these feelings eheh, until I done a little research online and found out about the syndrome.
  • I don't know what that is?. I've only heard of younger sibling syndrome.
  • No. I'm the baby and the only girl. There is a lot of truth to those rumors!

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