ERIC Number: ED301794
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Birth Order and Perceived Birth Order of Chemically Dependent and Academic Women.
Weeks, Kristie G.; Newlon, Betty J.
Birth order as it relates to family constellation is one of the principle concepts of Adlerian theory, and has implications for the understanding of chemical addiction. Adler premised that it was the individual's interpretation of his/her birth circumstances that was more important than sequential birth order. This study examined whether chemically dependent women's perception of themselves differed from the view that academic women had of themselves by comparing the relationship between birth order and perceived birth order of women (N=30) who were chemically dependent to the association between female graduate students' (N=30) birth order and their perceived birth order. Subjects listed all siblings, including themselves, in chronological order. Psychological position of subjects was derived using a form designed by Lohman (1982) to ascertain individuals' perception of their place in their family. The results revealed that first-born subjects predominated in the chemically dependent sample (N=10) with 9 women regarding themselves as psychologically first. When psychological definitions of birth order were used, more women in the substance abusing sample judged themselves as psychologically third (N=12). These findings suggest that women who become chemically dependent may do so out of a need to create a place for themselves in their family. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A