Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



First Advisor

Robert Fox

Second Advisor

Carl G. Thom


A review of the literature reveals a long history of interest in birth order research. Over 1000 studies have been generated linking birth order with a variety of personality and behavior dimensions (Klein, 1984). Alfred Adler (1958, as cited in Nystul, 1974) first proposed that birth order was a significant factor in personality development. Since then, research into the area of birth order and its relation to personality and behavior correlates has proliferated rapidly, but not without much debate (Allred & Poduska, 1988).

A wide variety of dependent variables has been examined in relation to birth order. The variables studied have ranged from intellectual performance (Zajonc, 1983) and creativity (Joubert, 1983) to risk-taking (Eisenman, 1987) and susceptibility to nightmares (Brink & Matlock, 1982). A frequently studied variable is self-concept and how it is affected by birth order.