This research revealed that first-born kids tend to be smarter than their siblings

While we don’t want oldest children to start feeling truly superior or anything, a study shows that first-born children are more intelligent than their siblings. Don’t get us wrong, we still love middle, youngest, somewhere-in-between, and only children, but the oldest child research conducted by economists from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Sydney is pretty fascinating.

The report from the University of Edinburgh doesn’t explicitly say that older siblings are smarter than their younger siblings. Instead, it says that first-born kids have a “mental edge.” That’s because, while the study did find that first-born children score higher than their siblings on IQ tests, the report also states:

"First-born children's thinking skills outperform their siblings because they receive more mental stimulation from their parents in their early years, research suggests."

Now, we hope this doesn’t give younger siblings a complex that their parents spent less time with them or something since the study said that no matter the birth order, all children in the family received the same amount of emotional support. Yet, the study shows that first borns receive more support from their parents when it comes to thinking skills.

While the study was conducted by universities in Scotland and Australia, the results are all American since they researched data from the U.S. Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. This survey assessed 5,000 children every two years from before they were born, up to age 14.

Along with gathering information on the children’s family background and economic conditions, the kids were also tested for reading recognition.

The researchers then used tools to assess how parental behavior before birth (like, smoking and drinking while pregnant) and after birth (like, providing mental stimulation and emotional support) impacted the child. The report from the University of Edinburgh said:

"The findings showed that advantages enjoyed by first-born siblings start very early in life — from just after birth to 3 years of age."

The researchers noted how the behavior of parents changed once they had more children. They provided less mental stimulation to the younger children and did less activities like reading, crafts, and playing musical instruments.

"Mothers also took higher risks during the pregnancy of latter-born children, such as increased smoking," the report frighteningly noted.

So while oldest siblings might use this study as a reason to gloat (can you tell that the author of this article is a youngest child?? ?), the circumstances surrounding why first-born kids perform better mentally is much more complex than who is smarter than who. And no matter what studies say, we’re here to remind you there are positive aspects to whichever position you hold in the birth order of your family.

We’re all wonderful individuals after all, aren’t we?

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