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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The relationship between birth order and teaching as a career choice Palmer, Sylvia


The primary purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between birth order and occupational choice. In particular, if an occupation such as teaching is chosen on the basis of birth order and personality traits, it would be expected that first borns, because they are compliant and person oriented, would choose a teaching career. The two main hypotheses proposed were: 1) that there is no significant difference in the relationship between birth order and occupational choice, and 2) that first borns are engaged in compliant person oriented occupations as frequently as later borns. The sample consisted of 209 families. Analysis of data was accomplished by chi square to determine differences between small families and large families. When the relevant variables were appropriately considered, there was no meaningful relationship between birth order and vocational interest. The study suggests that tighter controls be used in further investigations and that ordinal position differences within the family rather than independent characteristics be used to determine vocational choice.

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