Sibling order stereotypes

(WEAU) – “Research is finally starting to include or use a much broader definition of what a sibling is,” Helen Swanson professor of psychology UW Stout.

Half-brother to middle child to oldest sister, there's good and bad to all of them.

"The profile on the youngest side we hear they tend to be pampered, people pleasers, want everyone to like them often times the joker of the family," said Helen Swanson, Professor of Psychology UW Stout.

But on the positive side, the youngest has role models and also doesn't feel threatened by older siblings.

One viewer who’s the youngest of six says, I'm 21 and far more mature than most at my age. Then there's the middle child.

"We hear the middle child syndrome focused on the neglect but a lot of the positive aspects of being a middle child come from being in tune with the older sibling as well as the younger sibling,” said Swanson.

The middle child also has good communications skills and can easily understand the perspective of those who are different.

Swanson and her student Jessica Boone even did a study on sibling order to see if we all can identify with the middle child.

"It seems like we all have a little bit of the middle. It comes to feeling like we didn't get enough attention,” said Swanson.

Then there's the oldest child.

"On the negative side were talking about someone whose bossy and then we flip that and were talking about the leadership skills,” said Swanson.

Helen says often when people grow up. They tend to grow out of what used to be their sibling profile.

"We become leaders in our own right and were able to exercise our own freedom aside from everything we went through living in a home with siblings all around us 24/7,” said Swanson.

But in another email, one viewer writes, she believes she wouldn't be the same if she wasn't the oldest. She says it has helped her work ethic and therefore her family.


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