First Born Children Are Smarter Than Their Siblings, Study Says

by : UNILAD on : 06 Feb 2017 16:48

Good news for older siblings across the world, your irritating younger brothers and sisters may have youth on their side but you’ve got brains.


According to economists from the University of Edinburgh eldest siblings tends to score higher on IQ tests than their brothers and sisters from as early an age as one.

The scientists behind the research believe that the difference could be that first borns receive more mental stimulation from their parents than their siblings in their early weeks, The Evening Standard reports.

Max PIxel

Researchers believe that they may have explained the ‘birth-order effect’ which sees older siblings do better in later life than their younger brothers and sisters.


To get to the bottom of this mystery scientists observed 5,000 children from pre-birth until they were 14 on their family background and economic conditions, and they were also assessed every two years on reading and picture vocabulary.

Researchers then applied statistical techniques to analyse how the behaviour of parents, such as smoking and drinking during pregnancy, related to their child’s IQ score.

They discovered mothers tend to take higher risks with later born children than their first and also offered less mental stimulation to younger siblings while also taking part in fewer activities such as reading, crafts and playing musical instruments.

Dr Ana Nuevo-Chiquero from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Economics believes the results suggest a change in parental behaviour are responsible.

She said:

Our results suggest that broad shifts in parental behaviour are a plausible explanation for the observed birth order differences in education and labour market outcomes.

So if you feel your eldest brother or sister is doing better in life you may have to look to your parents for the answer why…

Topics: Science


Evening Standard
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