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A Review of 200 Birth-Order Studies: Lifestyle Characteristics
Abstract and Figures
Alfred Adler was one of the first theorists to use birth-order position in his conceptualization of clients. Birth order continues to inform professionals practicing from an Individual Psychology framework; however, the wealth of research on the topic can seem overwhelming. Using a modified version of Light and Smith's (1971) vote-counting methodology, the authors reviewed 200 published articles with statistically significant findings of birth order characteristics. From these studies, lifestyle characteristics associated with birth order were tabulated to provide a clear picture of results. Examples of typical characteristics associated with persons of specific birth-order positions include high success and achievement for first-born children, high need for achievement for only children, high sociability for middle children, and high social interest for youngest children. Implications for counselors conclude the article.
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