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·       The Oldest child. The
oldest child is characterized by over emphasize on power, authority, rules and
laws, high expectations from parents. Often given extra responsibility and
expected to set an example.

·      
The
Second child.  The
second child shares the attention with another child from the time they born. Sets high goals and optimistic. May become a rebel.

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·       The Middle child. The
middle child is characterized by take it
or leave it attitude, trouble with setting or reaching goals, always have
to share and never gets first pick.

·       The Youngest child. The
youngest child is characterized by high motivation to excel, but often sets
unrealistic goals. A dreamer, wants to be bigger than others.

·       The Only child. The
only child likes being the centre of
attention. They can be over protected and spoiled. Prefers adult company and used
adult language.

The present study focuses on the birth order,
first born, middle born, last born and the only child. As stated by Adler, individuals
position in the family is more important than the actual birth order. The birth
order is the ordinal position. However, it changes based on the number of
individuals or siblings in the family, in a family of three individuals the
second child can be considered as the middle child and in a family of two
individuals the second child will be considered as the youngest child. Thus, in
order to categorize the sample, the proposed study focuses on the four ordinal
positions only.

Empathy, Preston and de Waal (2002)

The concept of empathy is taken from the
research conducted by Preston and de Waal on Empathy and its proximate bases.
From the study, The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire items consists of two types
of empathy, the emotional and cognitive empathy. The emotional
empathy is the feeling compassion
for another person, is the one most frequently associated with the study of
empathy . Empathic concern is thought to emerge later developmentally and to
require more self-control than either emotional contagion or personal distress,
although these earlier components probably lay the groundwork for later, more
sophisticated forms of empathy. (Preston & de Waal, 2002). The cognitive empathy
refers to the extent to which we perceive or have evidence that we have
successfully guessed someone else’s thoughts and feelings. The spectrum of
cognitive empathy includes very simple tasks such as visual perspective taking and
extends up to very complex mental challenges, such as imagining another
person’s guess about what a third person believes. Whereas greater emotional
empathy is associated with more intense emotions, greater cognitive empathy entails
having more complete and accurate knowledge about the contents of another
person’s mind, including how that person feels. Thus, cognitive empathy still
requires sensitivity and knowledge about emotions. (Preston & de Waal, 2002)

Self Esteem, Rosenberg (1965)

The concepts of self-esteem are taken from
the study done on global self-esteem and specific self-esteem by Rosenberg and
colleagues . Self Esteem can be viewed as an attitude toward an
object, even though the holder of the attitude and the object toward which the
attitude is held-the self-are the same (Rosenberg 1979). Global self-esteem is
defined as a positive or negative attitude toward a particular object, namely,
the self and is thus conceived as a unidimensional construct incorporating
positive and negative self-evaluations in a single measure. When self-esteem is
high, one has self-respect and feels worthwhile, while acknowledging personal
faults and shortcomings. When it is low, one’s perceived weaknesses predominate,
and one sees oneself as a seriously deficient person who is inadequate and
unworthy (Rosenberg,1965).

 A bi-dimensional view of global self-esteem
recognizes that positive and negative components can be distinguished by
general self-denigrating and general self-confirming subscales. The positive
component of self-esteem, called positive self-worth here, includes not only
the degree to which one is self-assured in one’s capacities, but also the
degree to which one believes in one’s moral worth or virtue. Self-deprecation,
on the other hand, is the self-critical and negative part of self-esteem, the
degree to which an individual disparages his or her worth and efficacy. Thus,
self-esteem can be divided empirically along generally positive and generally
negative subdimensions. (Owens,1993)

Review of Previous Studies

Kamath
(2015) conducted a study on the effects on birth order and gender differences
on emotional intelligence. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects
of birth order on emotional intelligence. The sample of the study consisted of
40 students from the city if Mumbai, India between the age group of 18 to 26
years. The purposive sampling was used to select the sample. The Emotional and
Social Competence Inventory (ESCI) was administered among the subjects. The
results showed no significant differences between first- and last-born
individuals in their emotional intelligence competencies, namely, Adaptability,
Empathy, Self-Awareness, Self-Control, or Teamwork, based on self-reports.

Roher, Egloff and Schmukle (2015) conducted a
study on the effects of birth order has on personality. The sample was selected
from United States (N= 5,240), Great Britain(N=4,489) and Germany(N=10,457).
The NEO-FFI tool was used to measure the personality of the subjects. Results
showed no significant effects of birth order on extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness,
conscientiousness, or imagination.

Taiwo
and Olayemi (2015) conducted a study on the effects of birth order and gender
on empathy, aspiration and certain personality elements openness,
conscientiousness and agreeableness. The study comprised of 80 students (male
N= 27 and female N=53). The study used three tools for measuring aspiration,
personality and empathy, The
Aspiration Scale (Schmuck, Kasser, & Ryan (2000), a modified Big Five index
(John et al 1991) and

The Toronto Empathy questionnaire (Spreng et
al 2009). The findings of ANOVA showed significant difference between birth
order and openness. Significant correlation was found between agreeableness and
empathy and with openness and aspiration. The results of two-way ANOVA showed
significant interaction between birth order and gender with conscientiousness
and empathy.

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