Birth Order pp 74-189 | Cite as

Birth Order Differences in Socialization and Personality

  • Cécile Ernst
  • Jules Angst


In industrialized countries laws of heritage today no longer grant privilege to first-or lastborns. Sibling status has lost its former importance for the distribution of property or power. Reports from non-Western cultures, on the other hand, point to considerable differences in status and responsibilities between first- and laterborns. Firstborns may wield power over their younger sibs even as adults (Rin 1965; Rosenblatt et al. 1974). Avoidance rites of parents against firstborns have been observed and interpreted as a consequence of firstborns being the representatives of the following generation, destined to bury the preceding one (Fortes 1974).


Social Class Birth Order Middle Child Achievement Motivation Female College Student 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cécile Ernst
    • 1
  • Jules Angst
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychiatrische UniversitätsklinikZürich 8Switzerland
  2. 2.ForschungsdirektionPsychiatrische UniversitätsklinikZürich 8Switzerland

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