How birth order affects motor development

1909 words (8 pages) Essay in Psychology

27/04/17 Psychology Reference this

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Motor development is the physical growth and capability of a child to use his body parts in skilled movements. It is primarily divided into two categories gross motor and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills are abilities in which a child develops large motor muscles and is able to perform actions like jumping, racing, hopping twisting, throwing and so on. Similarly, fine motor skills refer to the development of muscles which are responsible for subtle tasks like smiling, writing, holding, squeezing and gripping. Therefore, developments of these muscles are crucial and can be affected by many factors (Pick, 1971).

Birth order affects psychological development rather than motor development.

The aim of this research is to determine how birth order affects motor development of a child, but according to recent research the causes which hinder the progress of motor abilities are other than birth order. The data which supports the fact that birth’s order affect motor development is based on the old theory developed by Adlerian (1870-1937) .He established his theory on psychological effects on a child with the presence of siblings. According to Adlerian, motor development of a child is affected by the environment he is born in and his position in the family. Presence of role model, restrictions on the child and gender preferences by parents, sibling rivalry and many other social factors play major role in affecting motor development. He emphasized on the presence of role model to introduce a child to subtle and meticulous movements. Hence, parents either support a child’s motor development or become a cause of obstruction (Eckstein et al., 2010).

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Development of movements are often invisible and aren’t recognizable at an early age. These physical impairments create numerous challenges for children affecting their psychological and physical development. Thus, Development Coordination Disorder (DCD) enables slow motor development, in children. It affects both intellectual and physical progress of a child. Children born with extreme low weight are more inclined to motor, cognitive and behavioral impairments and they increase with age. Therefore, recent record shows that preterm children are persistently diagnosed with deficient motor skills. Children have to go through a neuro-motor exam, which establishes their standard of DCD for treatment (Dewey et al., 2011).

Lehman has described birth order as customary environment and parental influence on children. The difference in behavior and physical growth is directly affected by the presence of siblings. However, these affects can differ due to optimistic and pessimistic environment around the child. It also includes school’s environment and its impact on child’s psychological and motor development. However, evaluation of relationship between birth order and academic achievements has shown pessimistic results. Investment of quality time by parents with higher order sibling has been observed less, which has resulted in negative and measured development of children (Lehmann et al, 2012).

Child’s position in the family and sibling’s gender are important factors which affect development. However, psychological and emotional development of eldest, middle and youngest child remains different from one another. The size of family and interpersonal relationships also affect the development of a child, either psychologically or physically. However, large family size has been considered a possible cause for mental disorder, which consequently affects motor development (Khodarahimi & Ogletree, 2011). Though, it is an indirect relationship between birth order and its effect on motor development.

In current era, professionals emphasize on evidence base practices for acute development of children. Therefore, challenges in learning through sensory and motor skills have been observed evidently under the age of 5. Due to lack of exposure to manage their deficiencies these children often face trauma. The perilous affects of trauma are long lasting and can become the cause of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Thus, early years of a child’s life are crucial for the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. Development of motor skills can be easily ascertained through play skills of a child. Therefore, psychologists have determined play, a key aspect to observe association of mental disorder and slow pace of motor development. However, slow motor development can also be hereditary or an environmental affect due to improper standard of life (Rubinson, 2011).

A study has shown children with Amplyobia have reduced level of fine motor skills, which consequently affects their manual object control due to insufficient vision. These children face deficiency in acts which require motor skills and hence, lack the precision and speed of performance (Webber et al., 2011).

Another study held in Pakistan emphasizes on the affects of birth order on intellectual development rather than motor development. This study determines the concept of priority and privileges, in which a child enjoys positive parental position and in turns develops IQ level. It also describes the relationship of birth order with the educational achievements. Therefore, the first born child receives full adult intellectual attention and nourishment rather than the third child. The intellectual development of first child is explorative in nature as he receives full parental attention. However, difference in gender and personality trait changes parental behavior towards the first born

child.The study concludes birth order affects on intellectuality rather than motor skills (Atta et al. 2011).

Motor skills of children develop with age. Children under the age of five, face more difficulty in developing motor skills rather than the children of eight and more. Exposure to manual tasks and exposure to play can sure motor deficiency to some extent. Therefore, positive correlation of play is essential for sustainable progress. Otherwise, numerous psychological factors hinder motor development and thus, affecting academic and social life. These motor developments can be mediated if the child has siblings and who can inspire him to learn to develop motor skills (Denckla, 2008).

Gross Motor Function Classification System (GPFCS) was established to distinguish children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) on the bases of functional skills. GPFCS has five stages and it is divided into four age groups. CP affects motor development in children. Therefore, the standard provided by GPFCS helps to determine what stage of motor deficiency a child is and how can it be cured. (Palisano et al., 2008).

Annotated Bibliography:

Atta, M. A., Jamal, D. A., Baloch, J., & Ayaz, M. (2011). Effects of the birth order on educational achievements of children. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL Of ACADEMIC RESEARCH, 3(2), 977-982.

This article studies the birth order affects in Pakistan and its interrelation with the academic achievements of children. It further discuses the non existence of physical birth order affects on motor development, however, it determines the criteria for genders and parents’ psychology of upraising children in Pakistan.

Denckla, M. B. (2008). Development of motor co-ordination in normal children. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 16(6), 729-741.

The above mentioned article discuses the development of motor skills according to the age of children. The coordination tasks were performed by children of all ages for the sake of tests and record. Hence, the result shows that the refinement in motor skills comes with age and the presence of siblings help to foster them.

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Dewey, D., Creighton, D. E., Heath, J. A., Wilson, B. N., Anseeuw-Deeks, D., Crawford, S. G., & Sauve, R. (January 01, 2011). Assessment of developmental coordination disorder in children born with extremely low birth weights. Developmental Neuropsychology, 36, 1, 42-56.

This research article addresses the prevalence of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) in relation to the children born with extremely low weight. Motor development analysis, methods to measure the progress of motor development, risks and severity of motor impairments has been discussed. The growth of children was extensively researched with or without the prenatal history and pediatric evaluation.

Eckstein, D., Aycock, K. J., Sperber, M. A., McDonald, J., Van, W. V., Watts, R. E., & Ginsburg, P. (January 01, 2010). A Review of 200 Birth-Order Studies: Lifestyle Characteristics. Journal of Individual Psychology, 66, 4, 408-434.

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This article has discussed the early theories on birth order and their affects on the development of a child. It elaborates the importance of family structure, psychological and social position, inclinations and parental influence on the child’s development. It adheres to the idea that lifestyle of a family is the fundamental factor which can sustain or impede the development process.

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Khodarahimi, S., & Ogletree, S. L. (January 01, 2011). Birth Order, Family Size, and Positive Psychological Constructs: What Roles Do They Play for Iranian Adolescents and Young Adults?. Journal of Individual Psychology, 67, 1, 41-56.

The authors of this article have evaluated the affects of birth order in Iran. They have sated numerous factors which affect the development of young children. They have concluded that, the interpersonal relationship and gender of siblings are the key aspects to sustain or restrain development in child. This study of birth order affects was only held in Iran, therefore, the psychological effects recorded are according to the cultural structure of the region.

Lehmann, J. K., Nuevo-Chiquero, A., & Vidal-Fernandez, M. (2012). Explaining the birth order e¬€ect: The role of prenatal and early childhood investments .Department of Economy University of Houston, 44. Retrieved from

The article states the probable sources affecting birth order and in turn influencing the education and participation of a child in social context. Parental participation and sibling existence can ascertain positive and negative growth of a child. Yet birth endowments remain the primary factor for affecting psychological development rather than motor.

Palisano, R. J., Rosenbaum, P., Bartlett, D., & Livingston, M. H. (October 01, 2008). Content validity of the expanded and revised Gross Motor Function Classification System. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 50, 10, 744-750.

Palison and others have discussed the development of Gross Motor Function Classification System for the children suffering from Cerebal Palsy according to age groups.

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Pick, A. D. (January 01, 1971). Perceptual and Motor Development in Infants and Children. Psyccritiques, 16, 7.)

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This article has discussed the stages of motor development and the areas which can affect motor skills in children.

Rubinson, F., Anastasia, E. Y., & Barbara A. , M. (2011). Evidence-based practice in infant and early childhood psychology . American Psychological Association , Retrieved from

The article revolves around the evidence based practices needed for the early childhood psychological development. It emphasizes on the causes which have increased the issues relating to the developmental process of a child in last 25 years. Hence, with the focus on health and nourishment of these youngest members of society the long lasting changes can be brought.

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Webber, Ann L., Wood, Joanne M., Gole, Glen A., & Brown, Brian. (2008). The effect of amblyopia on fine motor skills in children. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

This article contains the research on vision disability known as Amblyopia . It is an abnormality of an eye, which delays or poorly transmits the visual stimulation to the brain. The optic nerve and the brain activity development in children cause blurry vision, which consequently affects their motor skill development and speed of task performance. The accuracy of work is always questionable for these visionary impaired children as their fine motor skills are highly affected by Amblyopia.

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