Since the 1960s, a lot of research has been done on Adler’s theory of birth and middle child, but much of it is contradictory.
When looking at why youths are like them, a compilation book by two therapists is titled Mid generation syndrome notes, “If there are only three children, the first is considered the oldest and the youngest is the baby. The middle child can be left behind. […] The closer the children are, less energy that a parent may have had to bring in, aggravate the problem. “
And there are some studies showing that birth order can affect personality and mental health: For example, after analyzing 404 children, a 1988 paper in Journal of Genetic Psychology found that early children were less prone to depression and anxiety than younger and younger children. They also tend to report higher self-esteem levels.
But for every study that has found that parental characteristics are legitimate, one study concludes that they are not.
A 2015 article titled Check out the effect of birth order on personality say, “we consistently found no effect of birth order on extroversion, emotional stability, comfort, conscientiousness, or imagination. […] We must conclude that parity has no lasting effect on personality traits broadly outside the intellectual sphere. “
In response to this study, another study boldly made headlines Resolve arguments about birth order and personality concludes that “birth order has little or no substantial relationship with the development of personality traits and a small relationship with the development of intelligence.”
So middle child syndrome probably won’t soon be a perfect medical diagnosis. But that doesn’t mean that middle kids can’t relate to the common features of “middle child syndrome”, or benefit from paying attention to them. Here is some basic information about what they are and how to use them to your advantage.