Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access



First Advisor

Linda Stanhope




birth order, parenting, Baumrind, helicopter parenting, academic achievement, authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, well-being


Previous research surrounding birth order suggests that firstborn children tend to display higher levels of academic achievement than later born siblings. My research aimed to assess whether birth order is associated with Baumrind's (1971) parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, neglectful), with the inclusion of two measures of helicopter parenting (overprotective, over-involved parenting). The measures of helicopter parenting utilized were by LeMoyne & Buchanan (2011) and Schiffrin et al. (2014). My study explored how this potential association between birth order and parenting may mediate outcomes for college students, such as academic performance and party habits. 121 Union College students completed the questionnaire online. Unexpectedly, birth order did not correlate with any of the four traditional parenting styles. However, also unexpectedly, birth order negatively correlated with both helicopter parenting measures and the autonomy support measure, with firstborns reporting more helicopter parenting and more autonomy support than later borns. As hypothesized, birth order was positively correlated with the number of days students reported partying per week, such that later borns reported partying on more days than firstborns. These findings suggest that helicopter parenting and autonomy granting are not mutually exclusive, and parents are perceived to be providing both to their firstborn children more so than their later born children.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.