Chapter 4 – Alfred Adler: Individual Psychology

Focus on Birth Order

Illustrate your “family table” when you were (a) six years old, (b) thirteen years old, and (c) at your most recent family of origin interaction OR do this for one of your children at these ages. You should draw a diagram of these three tables as if you were looking down from the ceiling. Describe and analyze the dynamics of the interactions of the “family table” in terms of Adler’s order of birth. Which family members interacted the most with each other? Which family members interacted the least? According to Adler’s order of birth and his characteristics for first-born, second-born, youngest child, and the only child, which characteristics do you (or the child on which you are focused) identify with in order of birth? Do you agree with Adler on the order of birth, in relation to your family at these three different times in life?

This is a “Sociogram.” For more information on Sociograms, see to an external site.

The following sites give additional information on the subject of birth order and whether or not birth order affects our personalities. The first one is an article that should be prioritized.

  1. Osborn, C. J. (2001). A visual encapsulation of Adlerian Theory: A tool for teaching and learningJournal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development, 40, p. 243–249. at: to an external site.
  2. to an external site.
  3. to an external site.


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