In news hardly surprising to eldest siblings everywhere, a new study has found that the first-born child in a family might be smarter than their siblings.
As an eldest child myself, I already knew this. It’s just great that science is finally on my side about it.
The study (jointly undertaken by the University of Sydney and the University of Edinburgh) used data from five thousand US-based children, collecting data on them every two years from before they were born up until the age of 14. From all that data, researchers were specifically looking at how the children performed in tests of reading recognition and picture vocabulary. Environmental factors were also taken into account, such as economic conditions and family background.
Reading recognition was tested to determine the child’s ability to match letters, name names and read single words out loud. The findings, published this month in the Journal of Human Resources, revealed that the eldest child scored higher on these tests. The study reads:
“As early as age one, latter-born children score lower on cognitive assessments than their siblings, and the birth order gap in cognitive assessment increases until the time of school entry and remains statistically significant thereafter”
So, there you have it. Science has confirmed that the oldest sibling (me) is smarter than their siblings. If you’re a younger sibling reading this and your blood is boiling, try to calm down. It’s not your fault that your parents dropped the ball after focusing on the first one. At least, that’s what the study has suggested anyway.
“Our findings suggest that broad shifts in parental behavior from first to latter-born children is a plausible explanation for the observed birth order differences in education and labor market outcomes,” the study reads.
Shh. Listen closely. Can you hear that? It’s the sound of older siblings laughing with victory all around the nation. It doesn’t matter that they never get bitten by mozzies and we always do. We’ll take it if that’s what needs to happen. It doesn’t matter anyway. We finally have proof we are smarter. What a great day.