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91200 Are Only Children Less Independent Than Firstborn Children For numerous years research on the ordinal position of children in a family has indicated that certain personality traits can be linked to the oldest middle and youngest children However the first child in a family and only children seem to display the most likeness in their personalities Despite their similarities there are still ways for firstborns to differentiate from only children such as their level of independence This poses the issue of investigating whether or not only children are less independent than firstborn children Two studies were conducted to see if being an only child could effect a persons ability when achieving independence from the family system One study conducted by Barbara Byrd Arnold P DeRosa and Stephen S Craig indicate that only children are less autonomous than firstborn children This can be attributed to the dethronement process that takes place within the family upon the arrival of the second child Byrd et al 2000 Bei ng first born is to be the sole recipient of parental attention for at least a year and then having to relinquish that position and compete with a rival who is in greater need of attention This process may make it easier for a firstborn to individuate from their parents and provide a sense of strength and independence Whereas only children may seem to be more dependent on their parents and parents dependent on their only child The second study by Steven Mellor investigated developmental outcomes of only and non-only children that were categorized by birth order and family size In the first study by Byrd et al their subjects were college students who were randomly selected and divided into three categories These categories consisted of only children first born and later born Each subject received a packet that included several instruments for measurement One instrument was the California Psychological Inventory
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