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A Meta-Analytic For the Relationship between Birth Order and Marital Adjustment

Presented to: Dr. Moordiningsih By student: Fakher Nabeel Mouhammad Khalili November 2011

A Meta-Analytic For the Relationship between Birth Order and Marital Adjustment

Fakher Nabeel Mouhammad Khalili Fakultas Psikologi Universitas Gadjah Mada This article presents a meta-analysis of the relationship between complementarity birth order and marital adjustment. The quantitative review of 21 studies from 14 articles, 3 thesis and 4 dissertations. Summary analysis provided not support the Toman's assumptions very well, that there is a weak relationship between complementarity birth order and marital adjustment, the correlation coefficient after all procedures of correction was (0.06). Key words: meta-analysis, complementarity, birth order and marital adjustment. Introduction and background of study: Adler introduced the study of birth order in the early 1900's with his focus on family constellation (1928). From that point forward, Toman (1959; 1962), Anderson (1987), Hoopes and Harper (1981) and other researchers have continued to study and develop the birth order theory. However, the relative lack of empirical research suggests that further analysis of the marital interaction of various birth order combinations is needed. Many researches exploring the nature of marital relationships existent, and it is proposed that the oldest question in the history of the study of marriage is how to distinguish happy from unhappy marriages (Gottman & Krokoff, 1989). The importance of this question is thought to lie in the central role that marriage plays in the development and overall well-being of individuals and families (Bradbury, Fincham, & Beach, 2000; Whitehead, 2004) and, consequently, in the need to develop empirically supported interventions for couples that prevent or reduce marital distress and divorce (Bradbury et al, 2000). Marriage researchers have focused mostly on marital outcomes (e.g., marital adjustment, satisfaction or dissatisfaction, conflict, and divorce) but this approach has been criticized as it provides no clarification about how couples arrive at such outcomes; it is suggested that marital research instead emphasize the prediction of outcomes (Karney & Bradbury, 1995). Birth order and sibling position have been found to impact personality characteristics, social development, and behaviors and attitudes in social relationships (Anderson, 1987; Lawson & Brossart, 2004; Nyman, 1995; Pollet & Nettle, 2007). While some literature has focused on marital adjustment, satisfaction, intimacy, and conflict resolution (Billings, 1979; Koren, Carlton & Shaw, 1980; Margolin & Wambolt, 1981) relatively little literature has addressed these factors in conjunction with the birth order of married couples. In fact, there is little research that examines the impact of birth order on any marital variables (Anderson, 1987; Hardman, 1984). Toman (1993) was the first theorist to maintain that individuals seek out and are most satisfied in marital relationships in which sibling rank is replicated (e.g., an individual who is the oldest sibling in his/her family seeks out and is more compatible with an individual who is a younger sibling), and he termed this the duplication theorem of social relationships. 2

Relationships such as these are proposed to be successful because they are interactive: each partner desires to perform tasks that the other does not, and both partners have slightly different interests and preferences (Toman, 1993). This proposition reflects the idea of complementarity. Toman's notion of complementarity is operationalized according to birth rank and sibling gender. Birth rank refers to the order in which an individual was born into a family, which results in varying levels of individual power among siblings (i.e., due to differences in age and/or size) and responsibility imparted by parents (Leman, 1998). Both Toman (1993) and Adler (1956) asserted that each birth position has its own set of learned behaviors (i.e., roles), but Toman extended this idea and proposed that these behaviors create a system of cooperation (i.e., complementarity) among siblings. Oldest siblings assume the roles of leader, director, and caretaker, while younger siblings look to be led, directed, and cared for, and it is assumed that both oldest and younger siblings are comfortable in such positions. Middle siblings are purported to be the most flexible in their roles because they have been both older siblings and younger siblings; therefore, it is proposed that they are more able to adjust their roles according to each individual with whom they interact based on that person's birth rank (Adler, 1956; Leman, 1998; Toman, 1993). When both spouses hold the same birth rank in their respective families a rank conflict occurs wherein each partner may attempt to perform the same roles in the relationship. For example, conflict and lower levels of satisfaction or adjustment may occur in a marriage if a husband and wife who are both oldest children in their families attempt to lead in the relationship and expect the other to follow. Equally, a husband and wife who are younger siblings in their family may look to each other to lead and make decisions in the relationship, which in turn may result in tasks not being addressed or resolved (Toman, 1993). These two examples, albeit a bit extreme, demonstrate rank conflict in its simplest form. Toman believed that individuals learn about intimacy and cooperation within the sibling relationship, and the second component of complementarity considers sibling sex. Toman proposed that individuals with opposite-sex siblings learn to live closely with members of the opposite sex (i.e., brothers learn about females through interactions with their sisters and sisters learn about males from their interactions with male siblings). A sex conflict occurs when at least one spouse in a marriage was reared in a monosexual sibling group (e.g., a woman who only had sisters or a man who only had brothers). Toman asserted that individuals from monosexual sibling configurations are the least prepared to live closely with an opposite-sex spouse and may initially have trouble adjusting to the new relationship, but if the other spouse has at least one opposite-sex sibling, he/she is able to help ease the adjustment of living closely with an individual of the opposite sex (Toman, 1993). In sum, according to Toman 's duplication theorem of social relationships, romantic relationships are considered complementary when neither a rank nor a sex conflict exists. Relationships are partially complementary when either a rank or a sex conflict occurs in the relationship, but not both. Finally, non-complementary relationships occur when both a rank and a sex conflict in the relationship. Rank conflicts always involve both individuals while sex conflicts can involve one or both spouse(s) (Toman, 1993). While Toman never differentiated the importance of rank or sex conflict in marital satisfaction or adjustment, but Stanley (2009) believes that rank conflict is more detrimental to relationships than sex conflicts due to the power differentials 3

proposed to be inherent in birth rank (Adler, 1956; Kerr & Bowen, 1988; Toman, 1993). This notion is supported by a small body of research exploring differences in behaviors among siblings of different birth ranks (e.g., Mize & Pinjala, 2002; Stoneman et al., 1986). As previously stated, Toman proposed that couples in which each spouse has a different birth rank are proposed to have higher levels of marital adjustment due to their role complementarity (Toman, 1993). But, birth rank alone does not ensure that specific roles will be clear (e.g., that an oldest child will be more dominant and a youngest child will be more submissive). In fact, Toman discussed various factors that impact birth order roles apart from rank. For example, Toman proposed that the gender of each child of a particular birth rank may impact his/her role in a family: oldest girls may be given more responsibility for younger siblings than would oldest males, which may result in an woman who is the oldest in a family exhibiting more directing or caregiving behaviors in a marriage relationship than would a man who is the oldest (Toman, 1993). In addition to the gender of an individual of a particular birth rank, Toman also proposed that spacing (in terms of years) between siblings has an impact interpersonal role development. Toman proposed that personality (i.e., interpersonal role) is set by five years of age and that when the spacing between children is five or more years, birth rank characteristics reset. Thus, a second child who is 6 years younger than his/her sibling may actually be similar to a firstborn in terms of interpersonal role more than would a second child only 2 years younger than his/her sibling. Spouses who have different birth ranks. Therefore, simply exploring birth order complementarity among spouses may not provide a full representation of the underlying interpersonal mechanisms that operate in a relationship.

Problem of the study: Some theorists and researchers (Bank & Kahn, 1982; Kemper, 1966; Toman and Gray, 1961; Weller, Natan & Hazi, 1974) agree with Toman that the partners bring to the marriage from their family of origin an indisputable of sibling constellation. Other researchers and sociologists (Birtchnell & Mayhew, 1977; Ernst & Angst, 1983; Forer, 1976; Kelly & Conley, 1987; Levinger & Sonnheim, 1965; Pinsky, 1974; Sutton-Smith & Rosenberg, 1970; Terman, 1938; Vos & Hayden, 1985) maintain that there is no basis for marital adjustment in sibling birth order. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to attempt to resolve the conflict in the literature about the association between marital adjustment and birth order focusing on complementarity birth order for spouses . In addition, mass of the research that has tested Toman's theory, including research conducted by Toman himself, has only explored birth rank complementarity among individuals. Thus, the current study will explore the impact of rank complementarity on marital adjustment among spouses. Thus, this study will test a specific theory of marital adjustment that predicts marital outcomes based on the complementarity of birth positions of spouses. Moreover the purpose of this study is to test whether the degree of interpersonal complementarity provides an explanation the proposed relationship between birth rank complementarity and marital adjustment. The hope is that this research will provide further insight into the interpersonal mechanisms that underlie marriage relationships. 4

Definition of the terms: Birth order: Birth order is defined as the actual sequential order in which each child is born (Adler, 1928; 1956). Marital Adjustment: the degree to which individual adjust and adapt to the many facets of their marriages. Marital adjustment is used to refer to those processes necessary to achieve a harmonious and functional marital relationship (Sabatelli, 1988, p.894). The study hypothesis: The current study will test the Toman 's Theory which suggested there is a relationship between birth order and marital adjustment. The method: This study relating to meta-analysis methodology, the researcher obtained the studies from databases websites (EBSCO, PROQUEST, SAGE, SPRINGERLINK & JSTOR) which included articles, thesis, dissertations, that trying to discover the relationship between birth order and marital adjustment, these studies were (21); 14 articles, 3 thesis and 4 dissertations. Selection criteria: The researcher selected the studies which included birth order as independent variable and marital adjustment as dependent variables, also the current study interest with complementarity birth order and it relation with marital adjustment, so this study will not include that studies which interest with similarity in birth order, The researcher captured the values of size samples, F values, and r values, F values were converted to t, d, and r values. Summary of meta-analysis procedures: Analysis of data using meta-analysis techniques (Hunter-Schmidt, 1990) carried out with step-by-step analysis as follows: 1. Converting the algebraic equation of the F values to become the value of t, d and r. 2. Bare Bones Meta analysis: correcting for the sampling error. 3. Artifacts other than sampling errors for correction of measurement error.

Data analysis: 1. Characteristics of study sample: The samples that were examined in this study of meta-analysis had the characteristics as listed in table 1. Table.1 Characteristics of study sample

The Year 1982 1982 1974 1998 2001 1974 1974 2002 2001 2009 1995 1986 1986 1993 1987 2008 2008 1937 1976 1976 1977 The Author Berta Elisa Ortiz Berta Elisa Ortiz Leonard Weller, Orah Natan, Ophrah Hazi Michelle Laurel Vliet Brubaker Renee M. Schilling Stephen Bruce Gold Stephen Bruce Gold Michelle Laurel Megan E. Zuchowski Krystal L. Stanley Michelle Laurel Suzanne Little Dastrup Suzanne Little Dastrup Bloser Toman Amanda Elizabeth Majors Beal Amanda Elizabeth Majors Beal Clifford Kirkpatrick Vassar College Vassar College Birtchnell & Mayhew TOTAL Mean SD The Sample Size 160 160 236 61 91 150 150 58 49 61 160 80 80 254 94 79 79 348 62 62 1097 3571 170.0476 226.1171 The Gender Male Female Both Both Both Male Female Both Both Both Both Male Female Both Both Male Female Both Male Female Both

2. Transformation F values to t, d, and r values: The researcher used the following equation to suitable transformation t= F d = 2 t/N d = 2r/ (1- r 2) r = d/(4 + d2 )..equation (1) Table.2 Transformation F values to t, d, and r values

#

1 . 2 . 3 . 4

The Author Berta Elisa Ortiz Berta Elisa Ortiz Leonard Weller, Orah Natan, Ophrah Hazi Michelle Laurel Vliet Brubaker

F 103.6 8 1.165

t 10.182 3 1.0793

D 1.3256 3 0.2763

The Year

The Author

t 5

rxy

5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 1 0 . 1 1 . 1 2 . 1 3 . 1 4 . 1 5 . 1 6 . 1 7 . 1 8 . 1 9 . 2 0 .

Renee M. Schilling Stephen Bruce Gold Stephen Bruce Gold Michelle Laurel Megan E. Zuchowski

91 150 150 58 49

2009

Krystal L. Stanley

61

2.318

0.15511

1995

Michelle Laurel

160

0.4628

1986

80

5.443

0.16977

1986

80

6.335

0.17507

1993

Bloser

254

1.09

0.05807

1987

Toman

94

4.91

0.4571

0.15313

2008

79

0.02

2008

79

0.03

1937

Clifford Kirkpatrick

348

0.093

0.0327

0.01616

1976

Vassar College

62

6.82

0.6633 2 0.8835 4

0.20166

1976

Vassar College

62

12.1

0.2202

2 1 .

N 109 7

F 13.44 5

t 3.6667 4

D 0.2214 2

rxy 0.05301

3. Sampling Error Correction (Bare Bone Meta Analysis): If the population is assumed as constant correlation between some studies, the best estimation for the correlation is not a simple average of correlation across studies, but it is a weighted average (Hunter & Schmidt, 1990). The best estimation for the population correlation by following equation: a. The average of population correlation (): = ( Ni ri )/ Ni equation (2) The results of these calculations are in table.3 Table. 3 Sampling Error Correction

# The Year

rxy 0.4628 0.4058 0.1277 5 0.1216 2 0.1774 2 0.0267 2 0.0733 2 0.1638 6 0.1972 1 0.1551 1 0.4628 0.1697 7 0.1750 7 0.0580 7 0.1531 3

N rxy 74.048 64.928 30.149 7.4186 16.146 4.0073 10.998 9.5037 9.6634 9.4615 74.048 13.581 14.005 14.75 14.394

1. 1982 2. 1982 3. 1974 4. 1998 5. 2001 6. 1974 7. 1974 8. 2002 9. 2001 1 0. 2009 1 1. 1995 1 2. 1986 1 3. 1986 1 4. 1993 1 5. 1987

Total Average

The Year

The estimation of population correlation average is 0.108. b. Variance of correlations across studies rxy (2r):

#

The Year

rxy 0.4628 0.4058 0.1277 5 0.1216 2 0.1774 2 0.0267 2 0.0733 2 0.1638 6 0.1972 1

1 0. 2009 1 1. 1995 1 2. 1986 1 3. 1986 1 4. 1993 1 5. 1987 1 6. 2008 1 7. 2008 1 8. 1937 1 9. 1976 2 0. 1976 2 1. 1977

Total Average SD

0.1551 1 0.4628 0.1697 7 0.1750 7 0.0580 7 0.1531 3 0.02 0.03 0.0161 6 0.2016 6 0.2202 0.0530 1 3.4715

0.0468 0.3544 0.0614 0.0667 -0.05 0.0448 -0.088 -0.078 -0.092 0.0933 0.1118 -0.055

0.0022 0.1256 0.0038 0.0045 0.0025 0.002 0.0078 0.0061 0.0085 0.0087 0.0125 0.0031

0.1333 20.101 0.3017 0.356 0.6422 0.1885 0.6167 0.485 2.9579 0.5397 0.7755 3.36 66.997 0.0188 0.137

The variance of correlations across studies rxy (2r) is 0.0188, so the standard deviation = 0.0188 = 0.137. c. Variance of sampling error (2e): The variance of correlations across studies rxy (2r) contains two components these are; the variance of correlations in population (2) and the variance of correlations in samples due to sampling error (2e), estimation of population correlation variance can be simply obtained by correcting the observed variance ( 2r) via removing variance of sampling error (Hunter & Schmidt, 1990). Sampling error variance can be calculated using the following equation: 2e = (1 2)2/( 1) .equation (4) Thus the value of variance of correlation due to sampling error is: = (1 (0.108) 2) 2/ (170 1) = 0.0058. So sampling error variance is 0.0058.

10

Estimation of population correlation variance (2): We can estimate the population correlation variance (2) or true variance by correcting observed variance or variance across studies (2r) via subtracting the variance of sampling error (2e). Population correlation variance can be calculated using the following equation: d. 2 = 2r - 2eequation (5) so the value of population correlation variance (2) is: 0.0188 - 0.0058 = 0.013. Then the standard deviation of population correlation = 2 = 0.013 = 0.1139. e. Confidence interval and nature of population correlation: The confidence interval with = 0.108, = 0.1139 and confidence level = 0.95 is: z = 0.108 + (1.96 X 0.1139) or 0.108 - (1.96 X 0.1139) so +0.33 0.115The corrected standard deviation of 0.1139 can be compared with the mean of 0.108: 0.108/0.1139 = 0.95. That is, the mean correlation is nearly one standard deviations above 0. Thus, if the study population correlations are normally distributed, the probability of a zero or below-zero correlation is existing. So the qualitative nature of the relationship is near zero or very week: so the relationship between complementarity birth order and marital adjustment not strong.

f. The impact of sampling error: The impact of sampling error can be determined by using the following equation: 2/2r = 0.013/0.0188 = 0.69. thus the study reliability is (0.69), so the percentage of variance refer to sampling error is: 1 0.69 = 0.31 = 31%. 4. Measurement error correction: Correction of artifacts other than sampling error is measurement error. To make estimation of measurement error, the following table presents measurement error estimation worksheet including reliabilities of independent variable (rxx) which it is the birth order and dependent variable (ryy) which it is the marital adjustment.

11

# N rxy 0.4628 0.4058 0.12775 0.12162 0.17742 0.02672 0.07332 0.16386 0.19721 rxx 0.87 0.83 0.85 0.87 0.76 0.88 0.87 0.89 0.71 ryy 0.76 0.76 0.78 0.80 0.69 0.96 0.96 0.82 0.64 a = rxx 0.9327 0.911 0.922 0.9327 0.8741 0.9381 0.9327 0.9434 0.8426 b = ryy 0.8718 0.8718 0.8832 0.8944 0.8331 0.9798 0.9798 0.9055 0.8 N x r xy 74.048 64.928 30.149 7.4186 16.146 4.0073 10.998 9.5037 9.6634

1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 1 0 . 1 1 . 1 2 . 1 3 . 1 4 . 1 5 . 1 6 . 1 7 .

61

0.15511

0.76

0.97

0.8718

0.9849

9.4615

160

0.4628

0.83

0.76

0.911

0.8718

74.048

80

0.16977

0.94

0.87

0.9695

0.9327

13.581

80

0.17507

0.90

0.83

0.9487

0.911

14.005

254

0.05807

0.90

0.93

0.9487

0.9644

14.75

94

0.15313

0.97

0.90

0.9849

0.9487

14.394

79

0.02

0.79

0.72

0.8888

0.8485

1.58

79

0.03

0.97

0.90

0.9849

0.9487

2.37

12

rxy 0.01616

rxx 0.88

ryy 0.66

a = rxx 0.9381

b = ryy 0.8124

N x r xy 5.6239

1 8 . 1 9 . 2 0 . 2 1 .

Total Mean SD

348

62

0.20166

0.94

0.87

0.9695

0.9327

12.503

62

0.2202

0.84

0.75

0.9165

0.866

13.652

0.05301

0.76

0.77

58.154

a. Average of attenuation factor (): To correct for the artifacts, we first compute the mean compound artifact attenuation factor, by the following equation: = Ave (a) Ave (b) equation (6) = 0.92541 x 0.90089 = 0.8337

Calculation of the true population correlation after the correction of measurement errors was performed by the following equations. = Ave (i) = / equation (7) = 0.108/0.8337 = 0.1295 = 0.13. Therefore, the actual population correlation when corrected by measurement error in both dependent and independent variables is 0.13.

c. The sum of the squared coefficients of variation (V):

This performed by the following equations: V = SD2 (a)/Ave2(a) + SD2 (b)/ Ave2(b).equation (8) = (0.0386936)2/( 0.92541)2 + (0.054895)2/ (0.90089)2 = 0.0055 d. The variance due to artifact variation (S22): This computed by the following equations: S 2 = 22 V equation (9) Therefore, S22 = (0.13)2 (0.8337)2 (0.0055) = 0.0000646054 = 0.00006. e. The variance in true score correlations (Var()):

2

Var () = Var (xy) - 22 V/..equation (10) Var () = (0.013) [(0.13)2 (0.8337)2 (0.0055)/(0.8337)] = 0.0129 13

SD = 0.0129 = 0.114. Thus the real population correlation () was estimated to be 0.13 and the standard deviation (SD) was 0.114. f. Confidence interval and nature of population correlation: The confidence interval with = 0.13, = 0.114 and confidence level = 0.95 is: z = 0.13 + (1.96 X 0.114) or 0.13 - (1.96 X 0.114) so +0.35 0.09The corrected standard deviation of 0.114 can be compared with the mean of 0.13: 0.13/0.114 = 1.14. That is, the mean correlation is near one standard deviations above 0. Thus, if the study population correlations are normally distributed, the probability of a zero or below-zero correlation is existing. So the qualitative nature of the relationship is near zero or very week: so the relationship between complementarity birth order and marital adjustment not strong. g. The impact of measurement error: The impact of measurement error can be determined by using the following equation: 22 V/ 2 (xy) x100 % ...equation (12) = 0.00006/0.013 x 100% = 0.0046154 x 100% = 0.46%

5. Direct range restriction correction: To obtain the value of population correlation (rp) after removing the effect of direct range restriction, we will use the following equation: rp = [(U2 + 2)(1 - U2)] . equation (13) (Card, 2011, p. 141) but U = / s = 0.114/0.137 = 0.832. so rp = 0.13 [((0.832)2 + (0.108)2) (1 - (0.832)2)] = 0.06 The results: The value of () is existence between the accepted area of null hypothesis and accepted area of alternative hypothesis, so the relationship is very week (0.06): therefore the relationship between complementarity birth order and marital adjustment not strong. Sampling error: The value of sampling error variance showed that the percentage of variance due to sampling error is big, which was 31%. This percentage suggests the big possibility of bias due to error in sampling.

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Measurement error: The value of measurement error variance in both independent and dependent variables is equal to (0.00006), and the value of population variance was estimated to (0.013), thus when the variance of measurement error compared with the population variance due to measurement error variance it will be small (0.46%), and smaller than the impact of sampling error (31%), but although this percentage (0.46%) is very small it suggests the possibility of bias due to measurement error. Direct range restriction artifacts: The value of population correlation before direct range restriction correction was (0.13), and after correction was (0.06), so the percentage of direct range restriction artifacts (46%), it is a big value, so we can consider the relationship between complementarity birth order and marital adjustment is very weak. Discussion: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between complementarity birth order and marital adjustment. Meta analysis for (21) studied Findings indicate that there is a weak relation between these variables, or not strong. So this study somewhat support the assumption of Toman theory, but the current evidence by meta analysis is not enough, because there is a probably that; the sampling error still work and this study may be could not removing the bias due to sampling error which lead the value of correlation between complementarity birth order and marital adjustment not clear very well or misty. Any way the findings of studies in this article were heterogeneous, we can notice that the range of r was from (0.02) to (0.46), may be the research should conduct chi square test (2) before completing the rest meta analysis steps, so to make a sure the researcher computed the (2); it was (68.48) with df (20) this value was significant the p-value was (0.000), so the studies in this article were heterogeneous, that lead us to repeat meta analysis in another occasion take in account dividing the studies according to cultural or socioeconomic settings. References: Adler, A. (1956). The individual psychology of Alfred Adler. New York: Basic Book. Sabatelli, R., M., (1988). Measurement issues in marital Research: A review and critique of contemporary survey instruments. Journal of Marriage and Family. 891-915. Adler, A. (1928). Feelings and emotions from the standpoint of individual psychology. In Feelings and Emotions: The Wittenberg symposium. (pp. 316321). Oxford, England: Clark University Press. Hoopes, M. H., & Harper, J. M. (1981). Ordinal positions, family systems and family therapy. In M. R. Testas (Ed.), Theorie und praxis der familientherapie, Wurzburg, West Geramny: Paderbarn. Lawson, D. M., & Brossart, D. F. (2004). The development course of personal authority in the family system. Family Process, 43, 3, 391-409. Kerr, M. E., & Bowen, M. (1988). Family evaluation. New York: Norton. Bank, S., P., & Khan, M., D. (1982). The Sibling Bond. New York: Basic Books. Forer, L., K,. (1976). The birth order Factor: How personality is influenced by your place in the family. New York: David McKay Company, Inc.

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