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The Only Child Adler vs Current Research Procreation has been an essential task for all human beings in order to continue the existence of the species Before the advent of modern medicine and birth control common sense would dictate that females would give birth to large number of children helping to ensure that at least one would survive to adulthood and thus create children of his or her own However as time has passed humans have become able to control the number of children they have Many choose to have more than one child some choose to have none at all Still others choose to have only one Whatever the decision the number and order of birth of human offspring seems to have at least a small effect on their personality development Only children are special cases and must be looked at in a slightly different manner This paper examines the phenomenon of birth order as it particularly relates to only children Only children are unique in birth order in that they are the first- and last-born children in th eir families Alfred Adler best known for his theories regarding striving for superiority was also concerned with the effects of birth order on personality Adler had a successful older brother but Adler was weak as a child and thus was most likely affected with the desire to assert himself and prove his worth Adlers theory stressed the social aspect of personality development and therefore proposed the possibility of birth order and its significance in the interpersonal relationships of family life He felt that each position whether first or last had distinct characteristics Characteristics of Positions in Birth Order The following is an Adlerian overview of birth order characteristics POSITIONFAMILY SITUATIONCHARACTERISTICS ONLYBirth is a miracle Parents have no previous experience Retains 200 attention from both parents May become rival of one parent Can be over-protected and spoiledLikes being the center of adult
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