Weekly Meeting - May 29: The Power of Birth Order to Shape Your Life

Speaker: Jerry Miller started out as a middle school teacher for gifted children. Having discerned from that experience that what he most wanted to do with his life was to help children struggling in the classroom, he entered the University of Michigan to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan once he finished his degree. Since 1988,  he has been the Faculty Coordinator of Project Outreach, a large undergraduate service learning course at the University. His work with Project Outreach was recognized with Rosalie Ginsberg Outstanding Faculty Member award in 2010. In 2017, his work with Project Outreach was acknowledged again with the June Bennett Teamwork Service Award; this honor recognizes volunteer groups who have made an important contribution to the Ann Arbor community, and Jerry received it for the significant positive impact Project Outreach has had on the residents of Glacier Hills. Jerry also was Director of the Center for the Child and the Family at the University for 16 years. In that capacity, he has trained hundreds of graduate students in contemporary child and family mental health practices. Jerry always has had a special interest in anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, marital difficulties, and gifted children. He has tested approximately 2500 gifted children and supervised the testing of over 1000 others. He currently is the primary admissions tester for  Emerson School, an independent K-8 school for gifted and academically talented students here in Ann Arbor.

Birth order refers to the order in which a child is born into his or her family. It often is believed to have a profound, lasting effect on psychological development; recent research has consistently found that earlier born children score slightly higher on average on measures of intelligence. Whether birth order significantly influences personality development is a more controversial proposition. Our speaker will review the long history of birth order theories from the 19th century to the present day. He will describe the characteristics associated with each birth position, as evidenced in the lives of famous people in each, and will conclude by reviewing the actual importance of birth order in people’s lives.