SCIENCE

Are older children really the smartest? The results of the research

The debate on the influence of birth order on children's cognitive performance has always been a subject of interest and speculation.

But are older children really the most intelligent? A recent study attempted to answer this question by shedding light on the link between birth order and cognitive ability. The research revealed surprising results that may challenge common beliefs.

While many believe that first-borns are endowed with an intellectual advantage, this research challenges that claim and provides an in-depth analysis of the family and parenting dynamics that might influence children's cognitive development. (Source: Journal of Human Resources)

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Are older children really the smartest? The results of the research
The debate on the influence of birth order on children's cognitive performance has always been a subject of interest and speculation. But are older children really the most intelligent? A recent study attempted to answer this question by shedding light on the link between birth order and cognitive ability. The research revealed surprising results that may challenge common beliefs. While many believe that first-borns are endowed with an intellectual advantage, this research challenges that claim and provides an in-depth analysis of the family and parenting dynamics that might influence children's cognitive development. (Source: Journal of Human Resources)
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The firstborn has an advantage
A recent study published in the Journal of Human Resources highlighted an interesting phenomenon concerning the birth order of children and their cognitive development. According to the research, first-born children outperform their younger siblings in cognitive tests from an early age. This advantage seems to derive from the type of parenting that first children experience compared to later children.
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The second son receives less attention
According to Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann, an economist at the Analysis Group in Boston and co-author of the study, first-time parents tend to be more attentive and aware of their interactions and investments made for their first-born. In contrast, with the arrival of later children, parents tend to relax more and focus less on what they might consider non-essential needs for their children.
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Increased mental stimulation
Although parents may love and care for all their children equally, it appears that first-borns receive more mental stimulation. This is because they benefit from the undivided attention of both parents and the anxiety typical of new parents. In contrast, children born later tend to receive less parental time and investment, as evidenced by less reading of stories or teaching of basic concepts such as the alphabet.
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Increased self-confidence and better academic performance
According to research based on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this change in parenting does not seem to influence the attitude or personality of the children. However, first-born children were found to have greater self-confidence and better academic performance than their younger siblings. In fact, older children boast a slight advantage of a point or two in Intelligence Quotient (IQ), are more likely to aspire to leadership positions such as CEOs or politicians (+30%) and are more likely to want to continue their studies than their younger siblings (+7%).
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19/04/2024
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