London, May 15 (IANS): If you are the eldest among all your siblings, chances are that you would be averse to change and prefer conformity than those who follow you in the family, a study said.
"Firstborns are more conservative than are second-borns, independent from their parents' conservative values," Daniela Barni, a psychologist at the Catholic University of Milan in Italy, was quoted as saying.
The initial findings of the study confirmed a controversial theory propounded by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in 1928.
The theory affirmed that birth order can influence a person's personality and firstborn children are more conservative than the younger children.
For the study, the researchers recruited 96 Italian families and surveyed both parents, the firstborn child and the second-born child in each, for a total of 384 participants.
The family members filled out questionnaires about their own aversion to change and feelings about order, tradition and other facets of conservatism.
An analysis of the answers showed that firstborn children were, indeed, more conservative on average.
However, they were not more likely to be influenced by their parents' levels of conservatism than their younger siblings, suggesting that older kids are not taking on a conservative personality in order to throw in their lot with their parent.
This tendency toward conservatism may be a canny way to maintain one's place in the family, Barni added.
The study will appear in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.