Social Siblings: Birth Order and Social Interactions among Primary School Students

Christina Broholm, Leah A. Nillas

Research output: Faculty Advisor of Undergraduate Research


The affect birth order has on children’s social interactions is being explored on many different fronts. Research done by many scientists such as Perlin and Grater (1984) has been helpful in pointing out the characteristics of first, middle, and last born children. The following study focuses on the effect of birth order on primary grade students’ social development. Forty-three kindergarten through second grade students from an elementary school in Central Illinois were surveyed, observed, and interviewed to gain more information about their personality and feelings using eight categories of social behavior: activity, talkativeness, communication with peers, emotional control, imagination, anxiety around peers, maturity among peers, and rule keeping. I was able to gauge social ability in relation to their ordinal birth position. This study aims to broaden teachers‚ and the general public’s knowledge on this particular topic in addition to understanding participation in social interactions at school.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • birth order
  • social interactions
  • kindergarten


  • Education
  • Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education

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