- There is
increased mental stimulation for first born children
- First born
children were found to have better paying jobs with better education
- Mothers were a
lot more cautious when they were pregnant for the first time, and were
more prone to carry out higher risk tasks during their subsequent
conducted a study to find out if the first born children had better intelligence quotient (IQ)
their younger siblings. The study found that first-born children were indeed
smarter than their younger brothers or sisters, ending an age old debate on which of the siblings had a better IQ.
reason behind this 'improved' IQ could be due to better mental stimulation by
the mother or the father during growth and when the child is in the
‘Parents should spend quality time with their children to improve their intelligence quotient.’
study that involved 5000 children was published in the Journal of Human Resources
and was meant to throw more light on the
birth order effect, a situation in which older siblings had better pay and
education during the later stages of life. The study was carried out by
scientists from the University of Sydney
and it dealt with data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (US).
Details of the Study
study involved data from over 5000 children
who were studied from when
their mothers were pregnant with them till they were 14 years old. The details
that were collected involved
- The background of
the children along with the economic conditions of their parents.
- Once in two
years, reading skills and picture vocabulary were determined.
- Tests on
memory/recognition like matching, name recognition and calling out single
words were conducted.
methods were employed to determine how smoking and drinking affected the
child during pregnancy.
First Born and Quality
studies showed that mothers tended to be a lot more carful during their first
pregnancy and took 'higher risks' during their subsequent pregnancies. Parents
also spent more quality time with their first born child, reading to them and
offering better mental stimulation. The current study showed that the
advantages enjoyed by the first born begin soon after birth till about 3 years
additional child brings with it further responsibilities and chores and parents
may not be able to spend as much quality time with their child, when compared
to the time spent with a first born.
Ana Nuevo-Chiquero, from the School of Economics at the University of Edinburgh
said that there were considerable shifts in the parenting behavior between the
first born and subsequent children which could be contributing to the
differences in the quality of education and jobs.
First Born Children -
First Born Syndrome
agonize over every aspect of bringing up a first born child, from the books
that could be read to the right food choices that will help raise a healthy
child. There is a lot of attention to detail with careful choices.
could be due to the parents having more time to spend with their first born
child than with the second born. The second child is also referred to as the
'neglected second child' as the parental time is split between the first born
and the second.
additional support provided by the parents helps raise a stronger and smarter child, having little to do with child's
ability. As responsibilities increase, with parents taking on
additional roles, the birth of a second child, though equally beautiful, might
not garner as much attention from a parent like that of a first born child.
Parent Time Split
child may receive the same amount of love from the parents but the time that
the parent spends with the child may be split. The additional time, which in
most instances lasts for 3 years before the next child is born, lays a strong
foundation for a better life ahead.
Birth Order and
a similar study conducted by Julia M. Rohrer and colleagues and published in
the Journal PNOS, first born children were found to be more intelligent than
subsequent children. The study also analyzed the ability of birth order on
language acquisition, but found no
relevance. Second born may have a slower start to speech, as the first borns do
'all the talking'.
studies highlight the need for parents to spend sufficient amount of time with
their children, inculcating values and the right practices like reading at an
early stage. Parents who find it hard to provide the necessary time with their
second born should utilize family support systems to complete chores and to
ensure quality time with their children. This will help develop a more
- Study: Are First-Born Children Smarter Than Their
Siblings? - (https://www.studyfinds.org/study-finds-first-born-siblings-intelligence/)
- Think you're smarter than your siblings? If you're
a firstborn child, you might be right - (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/04/firstborn-children-smarter-than-siblings-edinburgh-study/)
Effect of Birth Order on Emerging Language - (http://www.hanen.org/SiteAssets/Helpful-Info/Articles/the-effect-of-birth-order.aspx)
- Examining the effects of birth order on
personality - (http://www.pnas.org/content/112/46/14224)