Authors:David Hardman, Caroline Villiers, and Sandra Roby
Salmon and Daly (1998) found that middleborn children in a sample of adults indicated themselves to be less closely affiliated to their family than were firstborns and lastborns. They argued, along with Sulloway (1996, p. 305), that this effect results from middleborn children losing out in the competition with firstborns and lastborns for parental investment. The study reported here was an attempt to replicate this finding using three samples of children and a sample of adults. We followed the methodology of Salmon and Daly and, additionally, reported data on inter-sibling affiliation that had not been reported in their study. None of the results showed any evidence of a middleborn effect. Some possible reasons are presented as to why birth order effects in familial sentiment might be hard to find.