Conclusion

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.

See also: FAMILY SIZE; PARENTING; SIBLINGS AND SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS

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