Article

Birth order and sibling competition

Frank J. Sulloway

in Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780198568308
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198568308.013.0021

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Birth order and sibling competition

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Sibling competition is widespread in the natural world, and sometimes ends in siblicide. Birth order among siblings affects the outcome of such contests, because it is a proxy for disparities in age, size, power, and opportunity. In humans, birth order combines with the prolonged period of childhood dependence on parents to promote differences in parental investment. In addition, siblings often occupy different niches within the family and employ differing tactics in competition with one another. These disparate experiences influence personality, sentiments about the family, patterns of motivation, and attitudes more generally. Birth order has also been implicated in support for, and opposition to, radical social and scientific revolutions. Although the persistence of birth-order effects in adulthood is well established by numerous studies, the extent and magnitude of these effects remains controversial.

Keywords: sibling; competition; birth order; siblicide; humans; childhood; dependence; parental investment; adulthood

Article.  9682 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.