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Birth Order & Drug Addiction

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Margaux Donati

on 4 December 2013

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Transcript of Birth Order & Drug Addiction

Birth Order & Drug Addiction
Part 1
Is there a correlation between a particular birth order position and drug addiction?
Birth Order
Drug Addiction
“Illicit drug use in America has been increasing. In 2011, an estimated 22.5 million Americans aged 12 or older (8.7%) had used an illicit drug or abused a psychotherapeutic medication (such as a pain reliever, stimulant, or tranquilizer) in the past month. This is up from 8.3 percent in 2002.” *

My Research
Margaux Donati

Part 2
If Part 1 results are significant...
Within the birth order which is found to be most at risk for addiction, if their is a trend in the way these individuals perceive their birth order vs. their ordinal birth order.
Ordinal Birth Order: chronological order an individual falls in relation to their siblings.

Psychological Birth Order: an individuals perception of their chronological position in relation to their siblings.

Recent Research Suggests...
Depending on their birth order, children experience emotions and circumstances that differ from those of their siblings which undoubtedly contributes to and influences their personality development.
Birth order is a basic family configuration variable that has been shown to exert significance in some domains, such as:
- political views
-education level
First Born Child
Higher academic achievement & intellectual quotient

Hold a special place as child is looked upon as one who will carry on their family genes to the next generation

“Only” child until another sibling is born

Parents tend to be stricter

More conscientious

Middle Child
Middle Child Syndrome
older & younger siblings recieve all the benefits of being first child & being the baby
Often feel left out, invisible and as though they have nothing special that is just theirs
Over represented in delinquent populations in comparison to other sibling
-Peer-oriented/ strong social skills
-Mediator, peacemaker
-Good negotiation skills
-Good listeners
-People pleasers
-Prone to depression

Only Child
Similar to first born

Motivated to conform to parental expectations

Achievement-oriented, successful in school, and have problems delegating work.

Prefer adult company and conversations


Occupations: Information technology, engineering, nursing, law enforcement
Last Born Child
Have a special place within the family in much the same way as the first born because they are the “baby”.

Parents tend to be more lenient

Thrill seekers
Confident- “Look what I can do” attitude

Occupations: middle management, artistic & outdoor jobs, art/design/architecture, journalism, advertising, sales, athletics

“Most people use drugs for the first time when they are teenagers. There were just over 3.0 million new users (initiates) of illicit drugs in 2011, or about 8,400 new users per day. Half (51 percent) were under 18.”*

Risk Factors
-Family history of drug addiction
-Men are twice as likely to have problems with drugs

-Lack of family involvement/ ineffective parenting
-Affiliations with deviant peers
-Status & quality of life
-Peer pressure
-Lack of mutual attachments and nurturing

-More vulnerable at a younger age

Characteristics of Teen Addicts
-Are popular socially, but do poorly in school
-Have low self-esteem
-Outgoing & spontaneous
-Refuse to accept authority
-Lie, cheat, steal or destroy others' property
-Act aggressively or violently toward people or animals
-Grandiosity (think world revolves around them)
-Impulsive & risky behavior

I believe that there is a correlation between being the middle child and likeliness to develop a drug addiction.

My Hypothesis
-similar characteristics attributed to the middle child and the characteristics attributed to an addict
-the predicted stressors middle children are exposed to during childhood are similar to the risk factors for addiction.
-childhood affects one's behavior in adolescence when most individuals experiment with drugs and the risk factors for addiction
-Middle Child Syndrome
approx. 500 in-treatment patients at rehab facilities
Ages 18-25 years old
Method Part 1
Birth order survey/ questionnaire:
Mail 100 surveys to 20 different rehab clinics located on the east coast which have agreed to participate.
Part 1-
General info (name, age, gender) & siblings (name & ages)
Part 2-
List of statements to determine perceived birth order of each participant (inferior or superior)
Circle the statements which most accurately describe your perceived birth order within your family.
Part 3
- Any family history of addiction within the past 2 generations

Collect data, eliminate the participants who do not fit the criteria & analyze data.
Correlational Study
Participants Part 2
All of the subjects from part 1 which completed the questionnaire& are part of the vulnerable birth rank.
Hopefully, around 200 participants.
Method Part 2
Analyze the surveys of the addicts who fall in the most vulnerable birth position.
Within subjects design
Identify if any trends amongst the perceived birth order is present
According to Sulloway...
Birth rank is an important family dynamic in shaping an individuals social stance.

Introduces a Darwinian model of family dynamics:
"First born are more likely to support the status quo & later born are more likely to support revolutionary cases".
Does one particular birth order call for a higher population of individuals who report having an addiction to drugs?
To reduce extraneous variables, eliminate ALL subjects who:

-Come from a large family (4 siblings max)
-Come from a family where parents are divorced or both parents were not present.
--Have a family history of addiction
Frank Sulloway
Conducted research on birth order and how it influences individuals in various aspects.
Scholar in the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley
Alfred Adler
One of the first theorists to use birth order position in his conceptualization of clients.
In 1924, Adler developed a hypothesis linking birth order and personality development, which has generated much research pertaining to birth order & its effects.
Face-to-face interviews with their counselors to discuss and obtain more detail about why the subjects perceive their birth order position the way they do.
Collect & Analyze data
The counselors who work at these rehab facilities.
Full transcript