We’ve got good news for those of you who are the eldest sibling in your family. You may have to deal with your younger brother always asking you for a lift or your little sister stealing your clothes when you’re not home, but all is not lost.
A study has found that there is one major perk to being the oldest sibling. Researchers revealed that the eldest child is usually the smartest.
Apparently, there is “a strong negative relation between birth order and cognitive outcomes of children.”
The study was conducted by teams of researchers at the Universities of Houston, New South Wales and Sheffield.
The teams discovered that older siblings feel more confident when it comes to their academic performance, whilst younger brothers and sisters can often doubt themselves.
This may be because the eldest sibling doesn’t have anyone to compare themselves to. However, as younger siblings know, you’re often compared to your big sister or brother.
The team explained that younger siblings may be ‘less intelligent’ because they don’t get as much attention from their parents, compared to their older siblings.
They said parental attention has a massive impact on children’s academic performance. For example, the youngest daughter may not feel as supported as her older brother did when he was in school because the parents have more children to focus on.
“Although later-born children are not born disadvantaged in their health or developmentally, we find that parents are unable to provide them with the same level of cognitive support as they do with their first-born,” they explained.
Hurray for eldest children!