BIRTH ORDER Characteristics (Part 2)

PREVIOUS : Birth Orders (Part 1)

⬆️ ARTWORK at Anna Goodson Illustration Agency

SITE : BIRTH ORDER TRAITFLosCuLous (Personal story)

For “ONLY CHILD” – see Part 1

INFO: Several studies show that First-borns & Only children usually reach higher educational goals, gain greater prestige & acquire more net worth, while Middle children are likely to struggle a bit more.

EXP: “As a result of a stricter upbringing, First-borns tend to be more extroverted & confident, Second-borns more rebellious & open to new experiences, & the Youngest is usually the most creative, & more often manipulative to get their way.”

Obviously, predicting personality based on birth order is not straightforward. There are many other factors that will determine how much it can affect personality.
EXP: Adoption / 
Blended families / Gender / How many children in the family / Mental or Physical disability / Multiples (twins or triplets) / Spacing (1, 6, 9 year separation….)

The following are the broad basics, but do apply more than not.

re. ELDEST ACoA : Usually cast as HERO / caretaker, they often have to take care of a drunk or NPD parent &/or younger sibs – cooking, cleaning, babysitting…. but also emotional needs of the adults. This is more likely if it’s a girl or a ‘sensitive’ boy, nor necessarily gay.
But if there are several children & there’s a boy as second or third, he may be designated family Hero-rescuer, but more likely outside the home, by accomplishing something they can point to (military, academic, sports, professional) – to prove the family’s not as dysfunctional as they really are.

NOTE: When there’s 6 years or more before the next child arrives, the First becomes a version of an Only, which effects their overall attitude to life. It also makes it potentially very hard for them to deal with being dethroned.
According to Adler, this makes them more neurotic & may even contribute to substance abuse.
Parental ‘compensation’ is to make the First be the baby’s parent-substitute – an unfair & heavy responsibility for a youngster of 7 or 8, especially when punished for lapses in attention or not ‘always knowing’ what to do.

re.  Middle ACoA : SCAPEGOAT – the second child who identifies with the drunk or crazy one, but is actually trying to take the focus off that parent(s) by being an even bigger troublemaker, sometimes with suicide attempts. But the ‘acting out’ (getting into trouble) is also a way for this child to express their own pain.

LOST CHILD ACoA – Especially if there are several kids, one of the Middlers is likely to be the invisible one, like the nerd hiding in their room or staying after school in the library. They’re silent, lost in their own inner world, although it can lead to some very creative ideas. (Middle Child Overview – 21 traits)

re. Youngest ACoA : Often the MASCOT, the entertainer who tries to lighten the heaviness of the family drama & depression. They may be used that way by the family, but then not taken seriously – for their own needs & pain. (See post on ROLES)

Generally, adults will have some characteristics from more than one column. Don’t assume you need to have all per your type.
However, as children, when one leaves home – usually the eldest &/or the Hero (for college, marriage, military), roles tend to get re-shuffled, & one will take over as Hero – to keep the family going – since the dysfunctional parents aren’t doing such a great job.


Research from Gronqvist & Ockert (2017, Sweden) focused on males, starting from the result of a standardized psych evaluation. They were interested in how birth order may influence skills developed in childhood, & professional decisions made later on.

EXP: LATER-borns are more likely to be self-employed.
FIRST-borns tend to be in occupations with the highest need for the “BIG 5” Personality Traits, such as CEOs, managers, legislators, & senior government officials. (Applies to both genders). (MORE…)

Studies of CEOs show that Firsts tend to run companies conservatively – improving things by streamlining product lines, simplifying distribution routes, making sure the trains run on time…..
LAST-borns are more likely to blow up the tracks & buy new trains – entirely reinventing a company, rather than just reforming or improving it.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.