BOSTON (WCMH) — New research has found that firstborn children get an intellectual advantage over their younger siblings, as they are set up for more academic and intellectual success.
The study was published in the Journal of Human Resources.
Firstborn babies and toddlers score better on cognitive tests than their younger siblings at the same age, and it’s likely due to “a broad shift in parenting,” according to the study.
Co-author Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann told TODAY that researchers were surprised birth order differences in cognitive test scores appeared so early.
“First-time parents tend to want to do everything right and generally have a greater awareness of their interactions with and investments in the firstborn,” Lehmann said. “With each subsequent child, parents tend to relax to a greater extent what they might deem as non-essential needs for their kids.”
The study found firstborns get the most mental stimulation, as parents spend more time reading to them and teaching them.