AKINWALE Gbenusola Abike, AYENIBIOWO Kehinde, EZEANYIM Ogochukwu


Over the years there has been a growing interest in human relationships’ and the problem of human relationships. Humans are inherently equipped with social instinct that allows them to follow and maintain relationship. This research was conducted to investigate the influence of hypercompetitiveness and birth order on interpersonal relation. Hypotheses were generated from Karen Horney and Alfred Adler s’ theories about hypercompetitiveness and birth order respectively. Birth order was defined in terms of three groups only: first, middle and last born. Participants (N= 300) with mean age of 25.86 (SD 5.63) for male and 25.56 (5.52) for female were students from Yaba College of Technology and University of Lagos. The instruments used were Hypercompetitive attitude scale by Ryckman, Hammer, Kaczor & Gold (1990) with 26 items and Index of peer relation by Hudson, Nuris, Daley & Newsome, (1986) with 25 items. A cross sectional survey was used in collecting data using accidental sampling techniques. Hypercompetitiveness has a significant negative correlation with interpersonal relation (r=-0.215*, at p, <0.05). Middle born were not more hypercompetitive than participants in other birth positions but had poor interpersonal relation. Explanations were proffered for the findings based on theoretical and empirical literature.  The study recommends that parents as the main provider of interpersonal relationship; therefore they should realize the importance of equal parental investment among their children and ensure, good parent-child relationship and proper coercive management practices while avoiding any form of preferential treatment. These will assist the young ones in building good social relationship.


Full Text:



Adler , A. (1927). Understanding human nature. Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor.

Bing, M. N. (1999). Hypercompetitiveness in academia: Achieving criterion-related validity from item context specificity. Journal of Personality Assessment, 73, 80-89.

Bowe, L. (2010). Understanding the influence of interpersonal relationship. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35 (1 ), 128-152

Falbo, T. (1999).Relationship between birth category, achievement and interpersonal orientation. Journal of personality and social psychology, 41, 121-131.

Fitzsimons, M. (2010).Interpersonal effects of personal goal progress. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(4),535-549

Gfroerer, K. P., Gfroerer, C. A., Curlette, W. L., White, J., & Kern, R. M. (2003). Psychological birth order and the basis-a inventory. The Journal of Individual Psychology, 59, 30-41.

Hardie, J. H. (2010). Economic factors and relationship quality among young couples. Marriage and Family,72(5): 1141–1154

Hjelle, L. A., & Ziegler, D. J. (1992).Personality theories: Basic assumptions, research and applications. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Horney, K. (1937). The neurotic personality of our time. New York: Norton.

Hudson, B.R., Nuris, P.S., & Daley, J.G., & Newsome, R. D. (1986).A short form to measure peer relations dysfunction. Chicago ; The Dorsey Press.

Kiesler, D.S. (1996). Contemporary interpersonal theory. New York: John Wiley & sons.

Kohut, H.(1971).The analysis of self. New York: International University Press

Leman .K. (2000).The new birth order book: Why you are the way you are. Minnesota : Baker Books.

Liam, G., & Martin, A. (2011).Peer relationship and adolescents’ academic and non-academic outcomes: same sex-and-opposite sex peer effects and the mediating role of school engagement. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 183-206.

McGurik, E. M., & PettijohnII, F.T. (2008).Birth order and romantic relationship attitudes in college students. North American Journal of Psychology, 10, (1), 37-52.

Pollet , A., & Nettle, S. (2009). The effect of birth order on relationship with family members and friends. Journal of Individual Psychology, 21, (2), 137-145.

Reeve .J. (1998). Autonomy , support as an interpersonal motivating style is it teachable?. Contemporary Education, 23, 312-330.

Ries, H. T. (2000). The relationship context of human behaviour and development. Brooklyn. NY: Hang Loose Press.

Ryckman, R. M. (2004). Theories of personality (8th .ed.). Thomson Wadsworth: USA.

Ryckman, R. M., Hammer, M., Kaczor, L. M., & Gold, J. A. (1990). Construction of hypercompetitive attitude scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 55, 630-639.

Ryckman, R. M., Hammer, M., Kaczor, L. M., & Gold, J. A. (1996). Construction of a personal development competitive attitude scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 66, 374-385.

Ryckman, R. M., Libby, C. R., Van den Borne, B., Gold, J. A., & Lindner, M. A. (1997). Values of hypercompetitive and personal development competitive individuals. Journal of Personality Assessment, 69,271-283.

Ryckman, R. M., Thorton, B., & Butler, J. C. (1994). Personality correlates of the hypercompetitive attitude scale: Validity tests of Horney’s theory of neurosis. Journal of Personality Assessment, 62, 84-94.

Ryckman, R. M., Thorton, B., Gold, J. A. (2011). Hypercompetitiveness and relationship: Further implications for family, peer and romantic relationships. Psychology Journal, 2, (4), 269-274.

Salmon, A. C., & Daly, M. (1998). Birth order and familial sentiment: Middle borns are different. Human Behaviour and Evolution, 19, 299-312.

Schneider, B. H., Woodburn, S., delPilarSoteras del Toro, M., & Udvari, S, J. (2005). Cultural and gender differences in the implications of competition for early adolescent friendship. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 51(2), 163-191.

Stewart, A. E. (2004). Can knowledge of client’s birth order bias clinical judgment. Journal of Counseling and Development, 82, 167-176.

Stewart, A. E. (2012). Actual birth order and psychological birth order. Journal of Psychology Interdisciplinary and Applied, 129, (1), 51-60.

Sulloway, F. J. (1996). Born to rebel: Birth order, family dynamics and creative lives. New York ,NY: Vintage books.

Sulloway, F. J. (1999). Birth Order, Sibling Competition, and Human Behavior." In Conceptual Challenges in Evolutionary Psychology: Innovative Research Strategies, edited by Harmon R. Holcomb (Dordrecht and Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001), pp. 39-83.

Sulloway, F.J. (2007).Birth order, sibling competition and human behaviour. Netherlands :Springer.

Zajonc, R. B., & Sulloway, F. J. (2007). The confluence model: Birth order as a within-family or between-family dynamic?. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 1187-1194


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.