Influences of Birth Order Intelligence and Academic Achievement the Personality Characteristics

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There has been some disagreement about the relationship between birth order and academic achievement, in general research has concluded that later birth position is associated with lower educational achievement. The development of the research on birth order can be followed through the works of several researchers. Hatzitheologou (1997) started the discussion with the early work by Koch in 1956 which showed that first-born children had better language abilities than later siblings. These results were repeated in later studies in 1971 and 1979. The effect of birth order on children’s development has been the topic of study for a long time. It was suggested that although mothers spent equal time with all siblings, the quality of the interaction was different. Firstborns usually get more pressure to achieve and succeed. Hatzitheologou carried out a study to examine the birth order and reading achievement of 503 elementary school children who were defined as either first born, second born or later born from public and private schools in the city and suburbs of Athens. The subjects were randomly chosen and given a reading achievement test at the end of the spring term. This study showed no relationship between birth order and reading achievement in the second-grade students. With the sixth grade students however the firstborn students had a higher score in the reading achievement test. The researcher suggested that younger children may all be getting the same amount of help with their work at home and that parents tend to read to younger children more.