Dungey, Cheyenne. “Relationships Between Psychological Birth Order and Perfectionism.” BA Honours (Psychology), Tyndale University, 2022.
Research examining ordinal birth order in relation to various variables has continued for decades with mixed results. However, with the resurgence of an Adlerian conceptualization of birth order, studies have begun producing more meaningful and ecologically valid results. This study explored relationships between birth order and perfectionism using the psychological birth order construct, which conceptualizes birth order in terms of a child’s role in the family, rather than their order in successive births. Specifically, this study tested the hypothesis that psychological birth order would be a better predictor than ordinal birth order of personal and family perfectionism scores. Measures of ordinal birth order, psychological birth order, personal perfectionism, and family perfectionism were distributed to students of Tyndale University and Eastern Nazarene College. The data collected from these measures supported the primary hypothesis, with psychological firstborn scores birth order predicting high personal and family standards for perfection for female participants. On this basis, it can be surmised that the role a child adopts within their family is related to enduring adult traits. However, it is unclear whether children adopt a psychological firstborn role and then exhibit perfectionism or whether innate traits toward or away from perfectionism may drive the psychological role children adopt within their family. Therefore, it may be worthwhile for future studies to consider the extent to which psychological birth order may be determined by innate traits such as perfectionism.
Thesis (BA Honours)—Tyndale University, 2022
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