1 minute read

Birth Order and Spacing


Whether or not birth order is accepted as a legitimate means of understanding people, it is difficult to ignore many of the general characteristics and tendencies that seem to attach themselves to the three common ordinal positions. However, it is important to remember that, in the end, it really is up to the individual to shape his or her own tendencies. Each child is unique. Likewise, each family situation is unique. A variety of factors will impact birth order dynamics, including spacing, gender, physical differences, disabilities, birth order position of parents, divorce, and sibling death. Most social scientists will, at the minimum, agree that birth order is simply one of numerous ways to probe the enigma known as the human personality.


Adler, Alfred. Understanding Human Nature. New York: Faucett World Library, 1927.

Blake, Judith. Family Size and Achievement. Berkeley: University ofCalifornia Press, 1989.

Ernst, Cecile, and Jules Angst. Birth Order: Its Influence on Personality. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1983.

Leman, K. The New Birth Order Book: Why We Are the Way We Are. Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1998.

Schooler, Carmi. "Birth Order Effects: Not Here, Not Now!" Psychological Bulletin 78:161-175.

Sulloway, Frank. J. Born to Rebel: Birth Order Family Dynamics and Creative Lives. New York: Pantheon, 1996.

Sutton-Smith, B., and B. G. Rosenberg. The Sibling. New York:Holt, Rhinehart, and Winston, 1970.

Toman, W. Family Constellation. New York: Springer, 1976.

James A. Troha

Additional topics

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 1Birth Order and Spacing - Effects Of Birth Order Discovered, Birth Order Characteristics, The Importance Of Spacing, Criticisms, Birth Order Today