The University of Edinburgh recently conducted a study that explores the reasoning behind why the older siblings in larger families consistency end up receiving higher education and better-paying jobs.
Researchers studied 5,000 children from pre-birth to the age of 14. Every two years, the children where tested.
On balance, the older children evidenced higher IQ scores in the fields of letter matching, reading and on picture vocabulary tests by the age of one. The study concluded that a shift in parenting methods to be the most obvious factor behind the birth order effect.
“Our results suggest that broad shifts in parental behavior are a plausible explanation for the observed birth order differences in education and labor market outcomes,” said author Dr. Ana Nuevo-Chiquero.
It makes sense that young parents would be the most nervous about messing up the first one. Though no notable disparity was found in emotional support, the panic of getting it wrong the first go-round sees them providing much more intellectual support; reading with the young child, learning instruments together with them, and various other brain-boosting activities.
The most sinister of the reasons why your older sibling is able to existentially dunk on you so effortlessly every Thanksgiving comes down to risks. The study also found that mothers were much more likely to drink and smoke while pregnant with child 2 and beyond.