Friday 30 September 2016

Sibling rivalry - Eldest child is the brainiest according to new university study

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 20/10/2015 | 16:15

Tourism Minister Michael Ring with pupils of Scoil Nephin National School
Tourism Minister Michael Ring with pupils of Scoil Nephin National School
Principal Brian Culloo with 37 children in Second Class at St Mochulla’s National School, Tulla, Co Clare

New research shows that the oldest child in a family is more likely to be cleverer than their brothers and sisters.

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‘Teaching’ their little brothers and sisters apparently boosts their IQ accordingly.

This news won’t be welcomed by come the younger members of a family, but research conclusively shows that the first-born in a family tends to be the cleverest.

A recent study revealed that each successive sibling tends to be less bright than the one that preceded them, with a drop of about 1.5 IQ points per child being recorded.

At the Leipzig University in Germany, academics analysed results from three large-scale studies, encompassing 20,000 people.

The researchers are of the opinion that the difference could be due to older siblings receiving their parents’ undivided attention.

Leipzig University's Dr Julia Rohrer said:

"One theory is that following children “dilute” the resources of their parents.

"While the firstborn gets full parental attention, at least for some months or years, additional children will have to share from the beginning.

"Another possible factor is described by the tutoring hypothesis: A firstborn can “tutor” their younger siblings, explaining to them how the world works and so on."

As an older sister I couldn't possibly comment.

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