A new study have found exactly what it is that makes firstborns more successful, educated and financially well off than their siblings.
A study recently published in the Journal of Human Resources suggests that your first child has both higher IQ and mental skills than the rest of your children. It is not genetics and it is not about how much love firstborns get, but an effect of receiving more mental stimulation from their parents early on in life.
A group of Economists from the University of Edinburgh, Analysis Group and the University of Sydney examined data from the U.S. Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a set of information collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, to study what is called the “birth order effect” to try and understand why firstborns have better vages and more education.
According to the study, it’s not a matter of the amount of emotional support a child receives, which is generally the same among siblings, but a matter of how much mental support a child gets.
Researchers studied around 5,000 children over 14 years, starting at pre-birth. Every two years the children were assessed in areas like reading recognition, matching letters, naming names and reading single words aloud and picture vocabulary assessments.
They also had information about their parents collected, such as their home environment and family’s economic conditions. The parents were also studied with regards to how they acted around and with the child
The analysis showed that parents changed their behavior with their later children. While they invest a lot of one-on-one time with their firstborns, parents tend to share less mentally stimulating activities as they get more children, like reading with the child, making crafts and playing musical instruments.