Date of Conferral







Medha Talpade


Historically, research in the field of birth order yielded inconsistent and at times contro-versial results. Researchers have long been interested in the impact of birth order on both social and cognitive development, in part due to the research of Adler. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine if psychological birth order directly impacts stu-dent achievement and motivation. The resource dilution theory and confluence model were used to investigate the relationship between sibling perception of family roles within familial settings and academic performance and motivation within the college setting. The quantitative study used an online survey to assess psychological birth order, assess motivation, and obtain demographic information including academic achievement measures. This study yields potentially helpful insight into the arena of differentiation of instruction by introducing a new variable for educators to take into consideration. Criteri-on sampling was employed with a sample (n = 183) of students in community, public, and private colleges. This study found that psychological birth order (first born, middle born, youngest, only child) predicted student motivation in the area of fun seeking (part of the motivation scales). Also, psychological birth order (first born, middle born, youngest child) predicted student motivation in the area of reward responsiveness (another subscale of motivation scales). To initiate positive social change for individual students and address their specific needs, teachers and administrators can use these results to under-stand student motivation and design strategies to motivate students to reach their full po-tential.