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Middle Child Syndrome

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MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME
Escarez, Mary Joy B.
Gutierrez, Samantha A.

Abstract Middle child syndrome, numerous, but not all, middle child experiences this. This status is mainly about a child whose birth is between his or her eldest sibling and junior sibling. Sitting in the middle isn’t going to be all joy and games. It takes an allotment for a person in a family of three to overcome. This is because the wave of decrease for it feels as if no one cares and no location in this world for you because the parents would only pay attention to the oldest or youngest. Alfred Adler was one of the first theorists to use- birth order position in his conceptualization of clients. Birth order continues to inform professionals practicing from an Individual Psychology framework; however, the wealth of research on the topic can seem overwhelming. Birth order theory holds that children develop their behavioral patterns largely as a result of their position within their family, and transfer these patterns to the classroom.

Introduction
The research topic is regarding Middle Child Syndrome (MCS). Being psychology student, we have and we earned some background knowledge about this proposed topic. According to Montgomery (2010), Middle Child Syndrome (MCS) is an occurrence that explains how the “birth order theory” of Alfred Adler affects every aspect of child’s life. Alfred Adler was an Austrian medical doctor, psychotherapist, and founder of the school of individual psychology. Birth order theory proposes that birth order influences personality and often can leave an ineffaceable impression on the individual’s style of life, which is a habitual way of dealing with the tasks of friendship, love and work. The spacing in years between siblings, the total number of children and the changing circumstances of the parents over time is the other birth order factors that should be concerned about. The purpose of the paper is to acquaint various factors of having Middle Child Syndrome, the factors that affect the occurrence or condition, the impact on the research and the possible solutions to intervention or how to preclude it.
In support of the study, researchers will use various methods to get the expected results of the study. Some of the methods are finding a variety of supporting details using different journals of people dependent on the profession associated with our topic, using survey questionnaires and interview the people presented in our methodology.
We hope to obtain various solutions in order to intervention and avoid the occurrence or condition of it. We are also expecting to be successful on our research paper.
Some of the problems we would like to resolve are how to develop this kind of problem; how it affects the learning of students ages fifteen to nineteen attending De La Salle Lipa. In addition we want to confer with parents with children three and over. Furthermore we want to share the solutions we gather, to the parents, as well as the person experiencing it in order to intervention and avoid instance that can cause bigger problems in the family.
Researchers would like to answer the following questions: 1. What are some of the character traits that middle child has? 2. What are the effects of Middle Child Syndrome? 3. How birth order affects middle child?
Some of the importance of our study is to help clarify the circumstances or conditions of Middle Child Syndrome. It may help the readers whom are parents and children experiencing the said condition. Our studies have been construed support some theory that we have read and read on. In this research papers we may be able to find solutions to problems encountered since the Middle Child Syndrome begin.
Cooperative learning provides opportunities for face-to-face interaction among students while enhancing their native and secondary language development, raising self-esteem, and improving academic achievement. However, teachers should be cognizant of their students' birth order in assigning roles within cooperative learning groups. Birth order theory holds that children develop their behavioral patterns largely as a result of their position within their family, and transfer these patterns to the classroom. Social behaviors that are necessary to student success in cooperative learning and include sharing, encouraging others, and accepting responsibilities for others' learning, are greatly influenced by birth order. The teacher must balance students' designated group roles with their characteristics according to birth order.
The scope of our study is to determine the factors and conditions, impact on learning for students aged fifteen to nineteen attending De La Salle Lipa. The information that will be gathering will help us in order to find a possible cure or solution to the condition.
Review of Related Literature This part of the paper contains the literatures that were related to the study. The researchers conducted information about Middle Child Syndrome. According to Montgomery (2010), "When planning your family, it is important to consider how the birth order will impact your children’s emotions and personality, as well as your family’s dynamics. There is a phenomenon often talked about, called the “Middle Child Syndrome,” which helps explain how birth order affects every aspect of a child’s life." Although middles are neglected, both by parents and researchers, they actually benefit from this in the long run. They become more independent, think outside the box, feel less pressure to conform, and are more empathetic. This gives them great skills as employees and also makes them excellent team players and partners. Middles are more driven than we think. Most people see firsts as having drive and ambition but middles do, too, it’s just directed elsewhere. Middles are more oriented to principles and concepts, like justice, over earning power or prestige (Griffin, 2012). According to Montgomery (2010), "Middle children often feel left out and invisible, a contrast from their older and younger siblings. While older children get the benefits of all of the “firsts” a child accomplishes, younger children benefit from the emotional impact of being the baby of the family, often being spoiled and coddled. Middle children, however, often feel as though they have nothing special that is just “theirs.”
Oldest children naturally receive a lot of attention from their parents because there are no other children to divide their time with. First-born children often have a strong desire to please their parents, and they usually express it through their success in school and their responsible behavior, says Michalopoulou. The youngest child is often coddled. Compared with the first- and last-born children, middle children sometimes experience less interaction and receive less attention. As a result, they can be introverted and end up with underdeveloped social skills (LoBello, 2010). According to Johnston (2014), middle children are normally in the middle of photographs and the fireplace mantle. Overlooked and neglected? More like front, center and distinguished. 52% of presidents are middle-born. The thought of having any type of authority position terrifies me, but it's comforting to know that at least I'm in powerful company. Middle children have a role model for how to be a role model. I can be an older sister after seeing how being an older sister was done the right way. They are creative because they are forced to come up with imaginative (or downright bizarre) ideas in order to get their parents' attention.

Methodology This paper examines the phenomenon of birth order as it particularly relates to middle children. This is not usually discussed about among families. Middle children do often feel a sense of no belonging and do feel some sort of isolation. Various theories of prominent psychologists such as Adler, Freud, Skinner, and Eysenck will be examined in their application to the importance of birth order in personality development. A theory concerning middle children will then be presented, dealing chiefly with their difficulty with the labels of introversion and extraversion. Adler's theory stressed the social aspect of personality development and therefore proposed the possibility of birth order and its significance in the interpersonal relationships of family life. He felt that each position in the order, whether first or last, had distinct characteristics. For example, he hypothesized that firstborns are problem children and that only children are likely to be spoiled due to parental overindulgence (Weiten, 1998). A total of (20) male and (20) female college student will be asked to answer all the questions for the topic Middle Child Syndrome. Each student will be given a questionnaire if they experience the syndrome or encountering such dilemma. There are different types of questions. It could be a narrative type where the respondent will answer by narrating his/her experiences based on the question given. It could be a checklist where the respondent will check all his/her traits that are given and will check whether he/she experiences the situation often, sometimes, no or yes. The lists were then examined to find common responses. These responses, along with additional items derived from a review of the literature and adapted items from the middle child syndrome references (The Middle Child Syndrome, 2010 & Consequences of Being a Middle Child, 2010). Eligibility criteria for participation in the survey included ages 15-19 years of age, since college students developed their personality. After doing the survey, the researchers will tally if the student’s experiences middle child syndrome rather than not experiencing it or vice versa. The questions were summed to obtain an item total score. Measures were given in a fixed order and were self-administered. For the few instances where data were missing, mean substitution was used (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001). An item questionnaire obtained information regarding name (optional), age, program/department and traits for the students. First born, middle child, and last born can all answer the questionnaires. The questions assess the frequency of the child's behavior at home and at school. The design of this study was survey type because the research sought information on the attitude of the respondents. According to Osuala (1987), survey research studies both large and small population to discover the relative incidence, distribution and inter-relations of psychological variables. The study was about Middle Child Syndrome in Batangas. The participants will all be the college students of De La Salle Lipa and the parents in De La Salle Lipa. The general purpose of the study was identifying the differences of attitudes of first born, middle child, and third born and how they socialize at school. How parents deal with their children at home. For the researchers to be able to get appropriated information, the students and parents in De La Salle Lipa was used as the target population of the study.

Results and Discussion This part of the paper about Middle Child Syndrome contains the results from the survey that the researchers conducted to the students of College of Education, Arts and Sciences (CEAS), College of Business, Economics, Accountancy and Management (CBEAM), College of International Hospitality and Management (CITHM) and College of Information, Technology and Engineering (CITE). Here are the following bar graphs and tables to understand more the results.

Table 1: First Born Character Traits that best describes them CHARACTER TRAITS | Frequency (f) | Percentage (%) | Religious | 7 | 8.86% | Loyal | 10 | 12.66% | Ambitious | 8 | 10.13% | Determined | 12 | 15.19% | Cooperative | 7 | 8.86% | Cheerful | 11 | 13.92% | Educated | 10 | 12.66% | Pessimistic | 1 | 1.27% | Optimistic | 5 | 6.40% | Introvert | 1 | 1.27% | Extrovert | 6 | 7.59% | Grumpy | 0 | 0% | Self-Centered | 1 | 1.27% | Stubborn | 0 | 0% |

According to Table 1, the survey shows the first born character traits that best describe them. Being determined was the character trait that had the most number with 12 who chose it and has a percentage of 15.19%. Next to this was having a cheerful personality with 11 who chose with 13.12%. Next is being loyal and educated with 10 who chose it with an average of 12.66%. 8 of the students said they are ambitious with a percentage of 10.13%. 7 of the first born said that they are religious and cooperative with an 8.86%. 6 with an average of 7.59% were the students who said that they are extrovert. While 5 of the first born that has an average of 6.40% were the students who said that they are optimistic. Being pessimistic, introvert and self-centered had the lowest number with 1 student who answered it with a total percentage of 1.27%.

Table 2: Second Born Character Traits that best describes them CHARACTER TRAITS | Frequency (f) | Percentage (%) | Religious | 8 | 12.12% | Loyal | 8 | 12.12% | Ambitious | 7 | 10.61% | Determined | 6 | 9.10% | Cooperative | 6 | 9.10% | Cheerful | 7 | 10.61% | Educated | 6 | 9.10% | Pessimistic | 3 | 4.55% | Optimistic | 5 | 7.58% | Introvert | 1 | 1.52% | Extrovert | 6 | 9.10% | Grumpy | 1 | 1.52% | Self-Centered | 1 | 1.52% | Stubborn | 1 | 1.52% | In accordance with table no. 2, it simply rationalizes the character traits of second born that best describe them. Being religious and loyal are the two character traits that has most answered by the second born students with a total frequency of 8 and has an average of 12.12%. After that, being ambitious and cheerful with a frequency of 7 got the second place with a percentage of 10.61%. Next to this are the four character traits specifically determined, cooperative, and educated and extrovert that has a total of 6 as frequency and has an average of 9.10%. Subsequent to this 5 of them said that they are optimistic and has a percentage of 7.58%. While 3 students said that they are pessimistic with an average of 4.55%. Being introvert, grumpy, self-centered and stubborn gets the lowest number of rate with only 1 student who chose it and has a total of 1.52%.

Table 3: Third Born Character Traits that best describes them CHARACTER TRAITS | Frequency (f) | Percentage (%) | Religious | 3 | 10.34% | Loyal | 3 | 10.34% | Ambitious | 2 | 6.90% | Determined | 2 | 6.90% | Cooperative | 1 | 3.45% | Cheerful | 3 | 10.34% | Educated | 2 | 6.90% | Pessimistic | 2 | 6.90% | Optimistic | 3 | 10.34% | Introvert | 1 | 3.45% | Extrovert | 2 | 6.90% | Grumpy | 1 | 3.45% | Self-Centered | 1 | 3.45% | Stubborn | 3 | 10.34% |
For this table, being religious, loyal, cheerful, optimistic and stubborn had the most number with 3 students who chose with 10.34%. Next to this being ambitious, determined, educated, and pessimistic and extrovert gets the following rate with an average of 6.90%. Being cooperative, introvert, grumpy and self-centered had the lowest number with only 1 student who chose it and has a total percentage of 3.45%. The researchers conclude that the students have more positive characteristics than negative characteristics.
Graph 1.1 Questions for Participants

According to Figure 1, for question 1, middle children answered (8) that sometimes they feel alienated from their family. For question 2, middle children answered (7) that sometimes they feel alienated from their friends. For question 3, middle children answered (5) that they are sometimes depressed from criticisms or not depressed at all. For question 4, middle children answered (7) that they didn't done things just to be accepted or noticed by others. For question 5, middle children answered (7) that sometimes they feel envy towards their siblings. It showed that various number of students answered that they sometimes experienced the negative one. It was a negative result.
Graph 1.2 Questions for Participants

According to Figure 2, for question 1, middle children answered (11) that being a middle child doesn't affect their interaction to other people. For question 2, middle children answered (11) that being a middle child doesn't affect their studies. For question 3, middle children answered (9) that being a middle child don’t make them feel that they are not part of the family. For question 4, middle children answered (12) that they haven't tried to open the topic Middle Child Syndrome. For question 5, middle children answered (9) that their parents give them enough attention. For question 6, middle children answered (9) that their parents give them the same attention like they give their other siblings. For question 7, middle children answered (10) that Middle Child Syndrome isn't a hindrance to their studies. For question 8, middle children answered (10) that a middle child like to take the lime light and that they are achievers. It was proven from the survey that its effects to the students of De La Salle Lipa were positive. The main reason behind this was the educational institution was private; therefore, it has good effects on perceptions and personalities of the students.
Conclusion
Most of the number of results that has been tallied has positive effects on the personality of the student, not only to middle children, but also to first born and third born. It has a few numbers of results on negative effects. Based on the data intended for the difference between first born, middle children and third born, four characteristics of the first born were the highest; these were determined, cheerful, loyal and educated. Four characteristics of the middle children were the highest; these were religious, loyal, ambitious and cheerful. Five characteristics of the third born were the highest, these were religious, loyal, cheerful, optimistic and stubborn.
Birth order has a huge effect to a student especially to middle children. Most of the effects were positive. A few was negative characteristics. This was an implication from the data that has been gathered by the researchers. According to the observations of the researchers, one factor that has a huge effect to students is the community that is dictating on what to be done and also the students' personalities that has been developed. The middle child of three is usually different from the middle child of a large family. The middle children of large families are often less competitive as parents don’t have as much time to give each child and so the children learn to cooperate to get what they want. Only children usually want to be adults, and so don’t relate to peers very well. When they become adults, they often believe they’ve finally “made it” and can now relate better to adults as peers.
Recommendation
The researchers recommended the students to become more open on sharing their problems to their family and learn how to communicate to their parents and siblings so that they will understand each other's feelings. They also recommended the parents to avoid giving too much to their children. Giving them what they need is more than enough. The parents should know how to treat their children fairly because it can affect to the personalities and perceptions of their children and it can be a cause of jealousy among siblings and other people. They must teach their children on how to be independent. The researchers recommended to have more knowledge on what a Middle Child Syndrome is and how it can be solved. Being a family as one is the most helpful and effective way to prevent the Middle Child Syndrome. Use some other limits that will prove the effects of being a middle child like the effects of culture, effects on their status in life, effects of the community they are in and how it can affect their way of living. Parenting experts and Circle of Moms members agree that the best way to prevent middle child syndrome is to pay equal attention to all of their children. One approach to help middle children reframe things is to point out that in a sense they have the best of both worlds.
Appendix A
To our Fellow Students:
A pleasant and blessed day!
We are the students of BS Psychology (P1A) enrolled in the program Comski2. We are now in the process of making research paper which will be our final requirement this semester. In line with this, we would ask you little time to answer our prepared survey to gather information about our topic: Middle Child Syndrome. Your cooperation will greatly contribute to us.
Thank you and God Bless. * The Researchers __________________________________________________________________________________________________
Name: ___________________________
Age: _______
Department: ____________________

____ First Born ____ Second Born ____ Third Born ____ More than 3 __ Kindly put a check (/) on those character traits that you have

____ Religious ____ Pessimistic

____ Loyal ____ Optimistic

____ Ambitious ____ Introvert

____ Determined ____ Extrovert

____ Cooperative ____ Grumpy ____ Cheerful ____ Self-Centered ____ Educated ____ Stubborn

Directions: | YES | NO | 1. Does being a middle child in the family affect your interaction to other people? | | | 2. Does being a middle child affect your studies? | | | 3. Does being a middle child make you feel like you are not part of the family? | | | 4. As a middle child, have you tried opening the topic Middle Child Syndrome? | | | 5. Do your parents give you enough attention? | | | 6. Do your parents give you the same attention like they give to your other siblings? | | | 7. Does “Middle Child Syndrome” can be a hindrance to your study? | | | 8. Studies say that middle children do not like to take the lime light and that they are not over achievers.” Do you think this is true as a middle child? | | | 1. Read and analyze each questions 2. Fill out all the questions 3. Put check (/) on the table questionnaires

4 – Often 3 – Sometimes 2 – Yes 1 – No | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | 1. Do you feel alienated from your family? | | | | | 2. Do you feel alienated from your friends? | | | | | 3. Do you get easily depressed from criticism? | | | | | 4. Have you ever done things just to be accepted or noticed by others? | | | | | 5. Do you feel envy or even hatred towards your parents or siblings? | | | | |

Reference List
Coulson, J. (2013). Don't Sweat About Middle Child Syndrome. Catholic Education Resource Center.
Montgomery, H. (2000). The Middle Child Syndrome. Everyday Family. Retrieved from www.everydayfamily.com
LoBello, K. (2004). Consequences of Being a Middle Child. Retrieved from mom.me/parenting/5925-consequences-being-middle-child/ Cole, M. & Cole, S.R. (2000). The Development of Children. California: Scientific American Books.
Berk, L.E. (2008). Child Development. Illinois: Allyn and Bacon.
Magher, M. (2014). The Sibling Birth Order Theory. Demand Media.
Bukatko, D. & Daehler, M. (2007). Child Development. Masachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Margolis, R.E. (2013). About Middle Child Syndrome. Demand Media.
Danish, E. (2013). Middle Child Syndrome. Retrieved from www.healthguidance.org
McGuirk, E.M. & Pettijohn, T.F. (2008). Birth Order and Romantic Relationships Styles and Attitudes in College Students. North American journal of Psychology.
Griffin, L. (2012). The Secret Powers of Middle Children. Field Guide to Families. Retrieved from www.psychologytoday.com
Miner, J. (2013). 10 Ways You Know You're a Middle Child. Retrieved from www.babble.com
Richardson, D.W. & Richardson, L.A. (2000). Birth Order and You. Canada: Self-Counsel Press.
Leman, K. (2004). The Birth Order Book. USA: Baker Publishing Group.
* Sentrock, J.W. (2009). Child Development. Texas: Mc Graw Hill.

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