Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type




First Advisor

Murphy Fox

Second Advisor

Tom Hamilton

Third Advisor

Brad Elison


An individual’s depression level was measured as a function of their birth order. An individual’s personality style was also evaluated based as a function of their birth order. Individuals were classified into one of five categories based on their birth order: oldest, middle of three, middle of four or more, youngest, and only child. Results indicated that birth order is not a significant dimension when it comes to evaluating depression levels. Youngest children and only children typically showed higher depression levels on a Beck Depression Inventory. Results also showed that birth order was a factor that should be considered when it comes to determining an individual’s style of personality. Middle children, particularly those in a family of three, showed a high level of introversion. Middle children of families of four or more showed a higher score of feeling, or being emotional, than they did as a thinker or intellectual. A significant majority of the participants also showed more ‘judger’ characteristics, which include being on time and following rules and norms.