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ERIC Number: ED174930
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Ordinal Position and Death Concerns.
Eckstein, Daniel; Tobacyk, Jerome
The relationship between birth order and how a person deals with death is investigated. Both theoretical and empirical evidence indicates that birth order influences how a person deals with life tasks. First-borns appear more achievement-oriented than their younger siblings, as exemplified by the fact that disproportionately greater numbers of first-borns have been found among eminent men. A strong achievement orientation appears to presuppose considerable concern with plans, goals, possibilities and projects, all of which require a future oriented consciousness. One's personal death is the future event which is the boundary for all achievement. It was hypothesized that, because of their achievement/future orientation, first borns would show greater death threat than either middle borns or last borns on the Threat Index. Also, it was hypothesized that first borns would consciously report less concern with death when answering questions directly assessing death concerns. College student volunteers (66 males and 52 females), mean age 22.1 years, were administered the Threat Index (Hays, 1974) and the Death Concern Scale (Dickstein, 1972). As predicted, first borns showed a greater mean Threat Index Score than either the middle born group or the last born group. The first born group recorded the smallest mean Death Concern Scale score followed by the middle born group, then by the last born. As hypothesized, first borns, relative to middle borns and last borns, demonstrated greater death threat on the Threat Index as well as significantly less death concerns on the Death Concern Scale. Thus a pattern emerged for first borns as being more threatened by death and as avoiding death-related issues. Findings are consistent with the notion that birth order, through its impact upon the formulation of life style, may influence the manner in which the individual deals with death. (Author/PJC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ontology
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Southeastern Psychological Association (25th, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 28-31, 1979)