Some older siblings suspect that their younger siblings aren’t as smart. While younger siblings strive to prove that this is not true, science seems to come to other conclusions.
But, what does it have to do with whether someone was born first and not second or third? How does this influence school and work life, and how wide is the difference in the qualifying intelligence of one sibling and the other? Here we give you all the answers.
The older sibling is smarter than the rest of his siblings.
Science says yes, the older sibling is smarter. To the delight of the first-born, recent studies have shown that older siblings are more intelligent than the rest of their siblings.
At the universities of Edinburgh and Sydney, a detailed study was carried out on more than 5,000 children. To carry it out, they performed some cognitive tests every two years from the moment of their birth until the age of 14. The results have been published and affirm: the older sibling has higher intelligence..
The reasons behind this result have multiple factors that come together in a great majority of families, which allows the statistic to be confirmed. In addition, it was proven that this does have a direct impact on school and work life..
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What are the factors that determine higher intelligence?
The aim of the study conducted by the University of Edinburgh was to prove that older siblings had higher intelligence than younger siblings. But also to find out whether the reasons were biological, social or cultural.
The biological aspect was ruled out. This was because no study proved that older children had higher intelligence due to genetic reasons. This confirmed that the determining factor had to do with aspects of education and upbringing.
Older siblings received more stimulation at an earlier age. As the first child, new parents are eager to stimulate any of the baby’s interests.. They also actively participate in early stimulation activities.
Whether they have access to classes exclusively for babies, or parents encourage stimulation in daily activities. This provides children with a stimulation of the neuronal synapses that later leads to greater cognitive capacity.
2. Quality time
New parents are concerned about giving their first-born children quality time. They know how important it is for the good emotional development of children to spend time with their parents, but they also want this time to be fruitful.
So parents make the effort to spend enough time with their babies, a situation that becomes complicated with the arrival of a second or third sibling. As a result, the older sibling receives more quality time with the baby. The older sibling receives more quality time, which also plays a role in his or her cognitive development..
3. Greater self-confidence
Older siblings reported higher self-esteem and therefore self-confidence. The majority of the older siblings who participated in this study agreed with positive statements about themselves..
“I am very good at learning new things”, “I am a smart kid”, “School comes easy to me” are assertions that older siblings could say about themselves, while younger siblings did not feel as identified.
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4. Good use of language
Language development is involved in cognitive processes. Due to the early stimulation that older siblings receive more often, their language is favored and enriched.
This in turn makes learning easier for them. Most of the older siblings registered from an early age a larger vocabulary and a higher communicative ability than their younger siblings. and a higher communicative capacity than their younger siblings.
5. Development of interests and abilities
Older siblings had more support to develop their interests and abilities. First-time parents focus more on providing their first child with everything that will help him or her develop his or her abilities.
When the younger sibling arrives, this decreases significantly. Due to lack of time, budget or other factors, there is less support for the other siblings. This influences their cognitive development.
What is the impact of the older sibling being smarter than the younger one?
This issue does not remain only in terms of childhood. The study by the University of Edinburgh, also provided data on the adult life of older and younger siblings.. The results showed that there is a direct relationship with better grades and better salaries.
Although the difference is not actually abysmal in intelligence levels, other factors such as self-confidence and security provide useful tools for a more satisfying school and professional life.
Nevertheless, younger siblings younger siblings have a notable advantage.. Emotion management and social skills are more developed in younger siblings than in older siblings. In this way, it seems that the situation is somewhat balanced.
So it is not strange to observe that in many families the same situation is repeated: older siblings get better grades, are better qualified to get better jobs and have more intelligence.
On the other hand, younger siblings are more sociable, less risk-averse, more resilient and tolerant of frustration, and have better problem-solving skills. Todas estas características, son de gran ayuda también para la vida adulta.
Rodgers, J. L., Cleveland, H. H., van den Oord, E., & Rowe, D. C. (2000). Resolving the debate over birth order, family size, and intelligence. American Psychologist, 55(6), 599-612.
Belmont, Lillian. (1973)“Birth Order, Family Size, and Intelligence.” Science 182, no. 4117.
Kristensen, Petter,(2007) “Explaining the Relation Between Birth Order and Intelligence.” Science 316, no. 5832.