According to a study conducted by the Economists at the University of Edinburgh, Analysis Group and the University of Sydney, first born kids have higher IQ than their siblings.
Researchers suggest, first-born children’s thinking skills outperform their siblings because they receive more mental stimulation from their parents in their early years. These children may have received more support with mental tasks, which caused the difference in the kids' level of intelligence.
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The researchers examined a dataset collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for the study. They also applied statistical methods to analyze how parental behavior was related to the child's test scores.
An assessment tool called, the Home Observation Measurement of the Environment was used to observe parental behaviour during pre-birth such as, smoking and drinking and activities during pregnancy. The researchers utilized the same tool for analyzing post-birth behaviour, such as, mental stimulation and emotional support.
Almost 5,000 children were observed from pre-birth to age 14. Every child was assessed every two years.
The kids were subjected to tests, including reading recognition like matching letters, naming names and reading single words aloud, as well as picture vocabulary assessments. Environmental factors such as family background and economic conditions were also collected.
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According to the study, published in the Journal of Human Resources,
first born siblings had life advantages after birth to three years of age. Differences among siblings increased slightly with age, which are noticed in test scores that measured verbal, reading, math and comprehension abilities.
"Our results suggests that broad shifts in parental behaviour are a plausible explanation for the observed birth order differences in education and labour market outcomes," Dr Ana Nuevo-ChiqueroSchool of Economics told the University of Edinburgh.
The experts learned that parents changed their behavior as the next siblings were born. They had less mental stimulation to younger siblings, and they also took part in fewer activities like reading with the child, creating crafts and playing musical instruments.