PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND
Birth order is believed to influence and
affect many aspects of one’s character or personality. Many professionals in
the field of psychology, come up with different studies showing that
differences in birth order really does affect the personality of a child. One
of the well-known professional in this field was Dr. Alfred Adler, a personality
theorist, who believes that the birth order has a direct association with one’s
characteristics and personality. He also added that family order can affect
individual’s experiences and development as well. It was said that each birth
order and each one of us has our own unique set of experiences and personality
For decades, psychologists have debated the relationship
between birth order and personality. It was said that it is important to
consider how the birth order will be, when family planning for it will create
an impact to the child’s emotions and personality. Perhaps, what caught our
attention most was the position of the “Middle Child” in the family. In the
field of multimedia in today’s generation, we often hear thoughts and stories
about the life of a middle child and how they deal with it. There’s this
phenomenon called “Middle Child Syndrome” where it explains things that defines
the life of being a middle child, their thoughts, and their dilemmas.
Dr. Alfred Adler suggested that birth order has a strong
impact on child’s behavior was a middle child himself. The Middle Child
Syndrome issue is an underrated topic being ignored to talk about for years
especially here in the Philippines, which caught the researchers’ attention and
pushes us to know further more about how these children deals with the life,
especially the dilemmas of being the middle child in their family. This
research will be an instrument to give opportunity to these middle children to
be heard and to be understood for their feelings, their thoughts and for who
they are. This study will serve as an eye-opener for many people to look on
different perspectives on how they see middle children, also for them to learn
to understand what they feel about.
of the Study
This study is conducted because it will not just feed up
our minds with new information and knowledge, but rather it will also expand our
minds as well. With this research, we will use it as an instrument to influence
and affect others in a good way and to create something that will contribute in
making our society a better one. The significance of conducting a research about
the Dilemma of the Middle Child is that it will help us shape our understanding
about personality differences especially with the case of middle children in
The findings and result of this study will be a great
benefit to the following:
The result of
this study will surely help students to shape their mind and expand their
understanding towards the said issue. As
a student, it will greatly affect them to do something that will contribute to
the betterment of our society.
the Family of these individuals:
The findings of this study may help them become aware of
the behavior of their child and for this will serve as a help and guide in
raising them based on their birth orders. Also, it will expand their
understanding towards the circumstances.
Result of this
study will be a great contribution in psychological issues in the community
especially here in the Philippines. It will be an eye-opener and it will shape
a person perceptive with psychological matters that is timely and relevant with
our society today.
the future researchers:
This study will
be beneficial for them, especially for those who are interested in searching
knowledge related with this problem and use this as basis for their future
of the Problem:
This research will arouse you in reality about the
Dilemmas of Middle Children.
1. What are the challenges that middle children
2. How do middle children cope with the situation?
3. How can being a middle child make such a big
and Delimitations of the Study
The Dilemma of
the Middle Child Research started in December 2017 and to be done by March
2018. The purpose of this research is to answer questions on how is it to be
the middle child in the family. This study only focuses on the hardships and
challenges they’re facing and the best things about them as well. The scope of
this study is limited only in the premises of University of the East-Caloocan
and focuses only on selected Senior High School students particularly Grade 11
of Academic-STEM Strand.
is the science of behavior and mind, including conscious and unconscious
phenomena, as well as thought.
an expert or specialist in psychology.
Order – refers to the order a child is born in their
family; first-born and second-born are examples.
child – refers to the middle of the birth order.
make a choice from a range of possibilities.
Pressure – is the direct influence on people by peers, or the
effect on an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing
their attitudes, values or behaviors to conform to those of the influencing
group or individual.
a person who practices psychoanalysis.
is a strand in grade 11 which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and
Sampling- means the researcher selects participants according
to the criteria he has set.
OF RELATED LITERATURE
the field of psychology, it has always been a debate that birth order or
arrangement has been known to affect a man’s personality and character. This
theory was supported by a well-known psychologist, Dr. Alfred Adler. His works
and probations about the birth order theory lead other psychologist to prove
and consider how birth order can really affect a person’s character (MagTXT, 2017).
Alfred Adler’s theory suggests that birth order plays a significant role in
personality development and even modern psychologist use this concept as a
basis to support their investigation and make it more reliable (MagTXT, 2017).
stated by studies, children destined at this spot (middle) usually don’t get
enough attention from their parents and siblings. In some cases, new born baby
or sometimes the oldest and the eldest in the family usually gets the special
attention and all the benefits from their parents, but the one in the middle,
often feel left out or left behind. They tend to see themselves like the air,
which can be felt but cannot be seen (The Middle Child Syndrome, 2014).
Middle children also had a hard time experiencing childhood,
as they grow up. One perfect example is while the older or younger siblings had
the privilege to get all things “first” whether it is a toy, bag, gadget,
shoes, and etc., the middle kids are the ones who always get what’s left or the
second best things left. It is one of many reasons why they tend to feel that
nothing is special with them (The Middle Child Syndrome, 2014).
When a new born baby comes in the family, the misbehavior
is expected to come up with the child. Middle child, sometimes “act up”, for
them to be recognized or noticed because all they want is a positive attention
from others, especially from their parents. They will do attention-seeking
behavior things such as whining, screaming, or even doing something in the
middle of a gathering just to show up. And when their parents warned them to
stop, that is the time when they (middle children) will realize that their
misbehavior act succeeds or simply they already get the attention that they
want (The Middle Child Syndrome, 2014).
These children always feel that they receive the least
attention from others. In this way, it makes them uncommunicative, silent and
furthermore insecure; however, other studies stated that it also makes them
more creative, resourceful and independent, in the way that they were able to
do certain things on their own. Their position as a middle also plays a
significant role as a peacemaker, because it helps them to see both sides of
situation, which is why they can usually read people well (Diaz, 2013).
On numerous cases, these middle children have a need to
figure out on getting consideration at home and
might as well create enticing qualities for example, a sense of humor
and conversational skills. For some,
middle children are perhaps closely related with will disobedience and prone to
rebellion; it is their attempt to catch attention. These children are usually a
people-pleaser person, involved in a large social circle and a mediator (Zubiri, 2015).
As the article says, being a middle child is not that
easy. They don’t get the attention that they deserved. Middle children often
feel that they don’t belong and think of themselves as outcasts in their
families. They feel that they can only depend on their selves, and from this, a
syndrome called Middle Child Syndrome starts to develop (Hailey, 2010).
to Salmon, middle children tend to have a chance of being less parent-oriented,
but it doesn’t mean that they don’t mind something about relationship (Dodgson,
one case study (1998), Salmon and his colleague professor Martin Daly
Furthermore concentrated on over 400 undergraduate students; they also
approached them and asked some questions about their relationships with their
family. On the other part of the research the respondents were asked by the
researchers who in their family they would turn to for help — parents or
siblings. The first and last born opted their mother and father, while middle
born for the most part picked their brothers or sisters (Dodgson,
children might be more prone to peer pressure; in any case they also have a
tendency to be more open-minded (Dodgson, 2017).
additionally recommends middle children tend to be more open-minded and
willingly attempt new things than their older or younger siblings. Salmon
supposes that it might be because middle children are usually forced to be an
independent person, who provides them a chance to figure their way or to find
their own path and could make them more likely to experiment (Dodgson, 2017).
Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychoanalyst, brought the effect of birth order in
the world. He suggests that it have a strong influence in child’s character.
Also Dr. Adler was a middle child (Montgomery, 2014).
feel forgotten and invisible, in contrast from their siblings. While older
sibling have the advantages over the “firsts” a child accomplishes, younger
children benefit out of the emotional affect about being the baby on the
family, often getting spoiled then coddled. Middle children however, often feel
that they have nothing that they can say “theirs” (Montgomery,
to studies, our birth order has nothing to do with our success or, it simply
doesn’t determine whether we’re going to success in life or not, but it can
affect areas of our personality. Experts say that parents should stop
belittling their child or giving them labels related with their birth orders (DiNuzzo,
labels should be found that describe the child’s ability, not their rank order
to raise a child’s self-esteem, parents should recognize the child’s positive
traits and help to promote their sense of self. Unless they have another
salient defining characteristic, they might get lost in the sauce if parents
don’t help them see their own uniqueness.” (Dr. Zelinger, 2017)
Middle Child Syndrome is a phenomenon, where
children born in the middle claims to feel and experience the sense of
emptiness, inadequacy and even jealousy. It is likewise portrayed by extreme
introversion, low respect towards oneself that sometimes lead to psychotic
behavior. The birth order has nothing to do with how middle children see
themselves, rather they tend to look and focus more on how they’re observed by
their parents (DiNuzzo, 2017).
review of over hundreds of investigations about birth order, found that
children in this spot (middle) are described as sociable, faithful in
relationship and brings fewest “acting out” issues. But unlike the eldest and
the oldest child, middle child doesn’t get the special attention that they
need. They need to put on too much effort and go through a lot of hindrances
just to get some of it. Middle children are also known to be the achievers in
the family because they really need those awards for them to be recognized by
their parents. Sadly, this thing can also goes the other way around, they may
be troublesome, pressured and determined to get noticed to the point that they
will be able to do things even if it means getting scolded or punished from
their acts (DiNuzzo, 2017).
few analysts propose that middle children can feel ignored and overlooked by
parents that have a special bond with the first born because they were the
first, and always concerning over the youngest because they need extra
attention and middle children sometimes cop the full-brunt of a first-born’s
competitiveness and resentment (Drysdale).
they need to figure out how to get on with their older and younger siblings,
they frequently turn out to be great mediators. Middle children will probably
make companions effectively because they have learned how to be diplomatic,
self-assured, adaptable and sympathetic to fit in better with their kin. They
additionally tend to deal with frustration better than to their siblings (Drysdale).
middle child often looks outside the family for meaning. Their parental ties
are not always as strong as those of their siblings, but their social skills
mean that they are not that lonely and they usually build good friendships (Drysdale).
OF THE STUDY
this chapter, the researchers presented the research design, the population of
samples, the research instrument, and the data gathering procedure which were
used by the researchers in compiling the data in this study.
effectively explore and address the problem, the researchers used a qualitative
case study design in order to gain in-depth knowledge and recognition to the
challenges and dilemmas of the middle children. The researchers employed a
purposive sampling strategy because of the criteria which the topic needs, dilemma of the middle children.
The respondents of this
study are the middle children of Grade 11 STEM students in University of the
East Caloocan. The researchers will search for at least two middle children per
section and then, the researchers will ask them some questions to verify if
they are qualified in the criteria the researchers set for the study, like how
many “How many siblings do you have?”, “In what order do you belong in the
family?”, “How many years apart are you from your siblings?”, “Do you
experience some dilemmas or problems for being a middle child?”, etc.
researchers of this study decided to use a semi-structured interview to get
descriptive information. Semi-structured interviews consist of
several key questions that help to define the areas to be explored, but also
allows the interviewer or interviewee to diverge in order to pursue an idea or
response in more detail (Pope & Mays, 1999). In this method, the
researchers conducted an interview to the selected middle children of Grade 11
STEM students. The main instrument used in this study was the interview
questions. The purpose of the research
interview is to explore the views, experiences and beliefs of the respondents
about the topic. After the researchers verify the respondents, the researchers
will make an arrangement to the respondents to
meet at a particular time and place if the interviewing cannot be done
on-the-spot. If the respondents are ready, the researchers will now start to
interview them. The researchers will dictate the interview questions to the
respondents while recording the interview to be analyzed in the future.
The interview questions
that the researchers had made, in no specific order, are the following:
Does birth order affect who you are
today? If yes, how? If no, why?
What is the feeling of being the middle
Among your siblings, how do your parents treat you?
Do you often feel left out from your other siblings? Why
or why not?
How do you feel about the term
“Middle Child Syndrome”?
Is being a middle child a good thing or
a bad thing? Why or why not?
“Studies say that middle children do not like to take the
lime light and they are not overachiever.” Do you think this is true? Why or
How do you think gender would contribute
to the effect of the middle child syndrome?
What traits do you think a middle child
girl/boy would most likely have?
If you ever get a chance to pick a
standing in your family, what would it be: First born, Last born or Middle
The researchers will apply
the following steps in organizing the research:
The researchers will create a total of ten interview
questions to be verified by Mr. Kenneth Santos for the Grade 11 STEM students.
The researchers will start to search qualified candidates
for the interview from the different sections of Grade 11 STEM students.
The researchers will organize the interview with the Grade
11 STEM students of University of the East Caloocan.
The researchers will interpret the result of the
interviews for data analysis.