Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 September 1977

Volume 2 Issue 4

The Effect of Birth Order and Family Size on Self Concept

Michaels Nystul

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Michaels Nystul


1 Department of Psychology, University of Queensland

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The present study presents an evaluation of the effects of birth order and family size on the self-concept as measured by the 29 scores of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale (TSCS). One hundred and seventeen middle and upper class 18 to 22-year-old female American university students were administered the TSCS and divided into the following birth-order groups: only, first, middle, and last; and family-size groups: subjects that came from two-child families, three or four-child families, and five-or-more-child families. Analysis of variance and t test statistical procedures showed the only-born to have the most favored birth-order position in terms of self-concept and tendencies to avoid the characteristics associated with pathological disorders. The most favored family size (in terms of self-concept and tendency to avoid the characteristics associated with pathological disorders) was three or more children with the least favored being a family with two children.

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