Is Middle Child Syndrome A Real Thing? Here’s The Truth!

Are you a middle child? Or do you have a sibling who is a middle child?

Well, you may be wondering if the “middle child syndrome” is a real thing…

is middle child syndrome a real thing? here’s the truth!Photo via Healthline

According to Healthline, middle child syndrome is the belief that middle children are excluded, ignored, or even outright neglected because of their birth order. 

But is middle child syndrome real? 

In 1964, a researcher, Alfred Adler, developed a theory on the importance of birth order on personality development and in his theory, he claims that although children may be born into the same household, their birth order greatly influences their psychological development. 

According to his theory, a child may have several personality characteristics depending on their birth order:

  1. The oldest child is more authoritarian and feels all-powerful due to the high expectations often set by the parents

  2. The youngest child is treated like a spoiled baby and can never rise above the other siblings

  3. The middle child is even-tempered but has trouble fitting in due to being sandwiched between the younger and older siblings

However, Adler’s theory is just a theory and research has since shown conflicting results about the impact of birth order.

One of the most common beliefs about middle-born children is that they have distant relationships with their parents, and a study in 2019 found that middle-born children were least likely to feel comfortable talking to their parents about personal problems, when compared to the first-born or last-born children.

...and they are more likely to develop maladaptive perfectionism which is characterized by the constant desire to have things go as planned.

Though many studies have posted contradictory results, it is impossible to say whether the middle child syndrome exists or not

It is much more likely that many different factors determine someone’s development. 

So, if you’re a middle child, don’t worry too much. Your parents still love you whether you were born first, second or last! 

By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat