Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Birth Order Effect: How to Better Understand Yourself and Others Paperback – February, 2002

13 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Library Binding
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$18.31 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Drawing on his experiences as a minister, counselor, and parent, Isaacson has devised a theory for understanding oneself and others called the Birth Order Effect. The theory hinges on five personality types, or Birth Order Personalities, that the author makes clear are different from Alfred Adler's four categories. While there is often a correlation between chronological birth date and Birth Order Personality, that is not always the case. For instance, first-born children may exhibit characteristics of Isaacson's Birth Order Personality First Born, but they may also show signs of Birth Order Personality Only Children. Early chapters present several quizzes so that readers can identify their personality type. The author then describes each type and explains how it applies to parenting, marriage, and work skills. The book is written in the approachable, conversational tone of a popular magazine article. Unfortunately, Isaacson omits a bibliography and any evidence of research methodology to support his theory. Confusion may also result from his use of the term birth order personality and studies that Isaacson has previously read about chronological birth order. Not recommended. Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, MD
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Cliff Isaacson works with patients at his counseling center in Des Moines, Iowa, where he makes his home. Kris Radish has worked as a newspaper reporter, university instructor, magazine editor, and freelance journalist. She is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and has written for such publications as McCleans, Catholic Digest, Milwaukee Magazine, and Cosmopolitan. She has also appeared on national news radio and television programs, such as MSNBC's Headliners and Legends. She lives in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media Corporation (February 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580625517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580625517
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #874,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By B. Cannon on March 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Interesting information, and I recognize people I know and have worked with in these "birth order" profiles, but it isn't really about birth order. The author says so himself - that these profiles are based on five "scripts" from Transactional Analysis that he then compared to his five children, and that you don't have to be a first-born (for example) to fit the first-born profile. If so, then why not call them what they are? As "birth order" personalities, they're worthless and misleading, and don't really fit anyway.

I have a master's degree in counseling psych, have studied Alfred Adler (who pioneered the theory of birth order), read a lot on the subject, and have used it a lot in my work and relationships. Isaacson's "new theory of birth order" isn't new, it's not his, and it is not about birth order.

Even as a layman, this has almost no use. Just for fun, my son and I both took Isaacson's quiz to see what birth order we would be identified as, and the scores were unenlightening. Both of us had almost equal numbers for each of the five profiles, meaning we couldn't conclude which was our true "birth order" according to his quiz. We both fit all five, even though my son and I are quite different in some important and obvious ways. I'm a true second-born of four, my son - though also second-born and having a few of the characteristics - is a classic youngest child. By the way, Isaacson claims there is no "youngest" personality.

And as if this weren't enough, there are typos all over the place.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Idontknowjack on December 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have read quite a few books and magazine articles on the subject of birth order dynamics, and this is the one that stands out for me. Isaacson began noticing birth order effects in his work as a counselor. As he studied what other researchers had come up with on the subject, he had the perfect vehicle in his counseling practice, day-in-and-day-out, to refine the theories. Very down to earth and practical. I like the fact that he keeps birth order dynamics in perspective, always acknowledging the many other variables in life that affect our personalities.

Where some other writings about birth order are too general and only categorize into only child, first born, middle born, and last; Isaacon is very specific in his identification of five personalities: only child, first born, second, third, and fourth born. An important element in his book is the idea that these labels, based on chronological birth order, usually correspond with a person's birth order -- but not always.

If you've never read anything on the birth order effect you'll be blown away. It's fun to look at yourself, your siblings, parents, and grandparents with a new level of understanding. Understanding bosses, co-workers, marraige mates will be easier. You'll find yourself noticing the birth order effect with everyone you meet and deal with. For me, it's one of those insightful books that once you've read it, you can't imagine going through life without having read it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N.R.S. on November 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although the information may be true, the manner of writing, in the third person all the time, "Isaacson says...., Isaacson found..., just puts one to sleep. The book by Lehman is written in the first person and is much more entertaining.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
I have studied various personality systems like Myers-Briggs , the Enneagram, Oldham's Personality Styles, and DISC, and still learned some new and interesting things about my wife and my self. The book is based on 5 very sound mini-scripts of Transactional Analysis by Dr Taibi Kahler. So the book goes far beyond the usual cobbled together models/theories, which attempt to explain just about everything with just one model....

This is a very good way to get a basic idea of what drives and motivates you, and the people around you. Like all the other models/theories, while it is very good at what part of the personality it is dealing with, the parts not dealt with, still can have a powerful effect on you. I'm a first born, but " You don't understand others an you know you don't. ", and " You cannot predict what others will do. ", does not apply to me because of my Ennea type. Just as my Ennea type is greatly influenced by the first born trait of placating other people.

This book is well worth your time and effort, and is very easy to use and understand.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Laurie T. on April 24, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...for me, a 4th-born. I feel validated about my anger> I also understand better that I EXPECT life to be hard at an unconscious level. I'm starting to work on consciuosly changing my beliefs about that. I've had a LOT of hardship in life. Birth order probably has contributed to it. Thank you< Clifford Isaacson for going the distance and addressing birth order beyond '1st-born, middle, youngest child'.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Scribe on May 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought the book was good, but didn't answer all the questions I had because I scored fairly high for three different birth orders. I was never sure if that was a good or bad thing. However, I found the material, as it was presented, to be interesting and worthwile.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got this to understand myself and ended up understanding more about my children too. Loved it so much I told my grown children about it. Definitely a keeper to look back upon over and over again.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again