How does Birth Order Relate to IQ

Do you have siblings? If so, then this article might seem interesting to you. Have you ever seen your relatives pointing out that your elder ones are smarter than you? Or, in some cases you may experience the opposite. This left a curious impression among the scientists. They kept thinking, “Is birth order related to siblings IQ?”, “How does Birth Order Relate to IQ?”. Fair questions indeed. We’ve reviewed a handful of research papers and tried to answer this question. Different researchers identified the issue in multiple perspective. We’ll try out discussing each of the ways to give you a clear understanding. So, without further ado, let’s see which sibling is the smartest.

Table of Contents

  1. Which Child Parents Love the Most?
  2. Does parent’s Behavior Impact the Unborn Child?
  3. How Does Birth Order Relate to IQ?
  4. Siblings Relationship

Which Child Parents Love the Most?

We know this question is absurd because parents love equally all of their children. However, there are few behavioral changes in the parent’s attitude each time they have a child. Studies show that usually people tend to give more attention to the first-born child.

By starting a new journey, parents tend to become much careful. So, we can say, oldest children always become an experimental tool for their parents. Now, as the child start having more siblings, the parents tend to grow more expert in managing their kids.

The middle children tend to receive a little less attention and the youngest ones usually are taken care by older siblings. As a result, the youngest members receive love and affection from both parents and older siblings.    

Does Parent’s Behavior Impact the Child?

Most of the time, it’s said that a mother’s behavior influences a child’s behavior. Suppose, a pregnant mother loves smoking and smokes even during her pregnancy. The unborn child may become a part of the unhealthy behavior.

It will affect the child’s brain and lungs which may have serious damage issues after the child is born. The child may grow weaker and less smart than it should have been. On the other hand, your child will act as you teach him or her. 

Parents often push around hobbies and new learning opportunities to the first-born child. This may include teaching them arts and craft, playing musical instruments. The more effort you’ll put in a child’s development, the better result you’ll get. In this case, it’s also very important to understand children psychology and act accordingly.

How Does Birth Order Relate to IQ?

It’s been long since this debate is running on, “How does birth order relate to IQ?” and now studies confirm that the older the sibling is, the higher IQ he or she possesses. A study by the University of Edinburgh has confirmed that the first-born children has higher thinking ability than the latter ones because of parents’ more mental support. Parent’s try to focus more on these to develop skills. Years of experimentations run by and naturally these kids outsmart their younger siblings. 

By observing 5,000 children from pre-birth to age 14, Journal of Human Resources published a similar research. The researchers emphasized on the birth order effect. They have recognized that older children in a family earns more and is successful more in education than the younger ones.

This study was followed by a couple of assessment tests such as reading, matching letters, names, reading single words aloud, and picture vocabulary tests. The results show that older siblings scored higher than the younger siblings in these IQ tests. It means that the older siblings tend to have more thinking skills than the other siblings.

Another research by Lillian Belmont and Francis Marolla proves the intelligence level of siblings from different perspectives including family size, birth order, and intelligence test. In the experiment, it’s evident that low wage earner families tend to show less intelligence and lower level of education. However, keeping social class constant, children who are on the top of the birth order tree tend to show more intelligence than the children in bottom of the order. As the birth order grows larger in number, the IQ position seem to differ among families. For instance, the third child of a 3-child family is expected to score more in the IQ tests than the third child of a 4-child family.  

Let’s describe the fact with numeric facts. It’ll get much easier to understand. Researchers have identified that the first-born children usually outweigh the second-born children by 1.5 points. Same thing happens to the middle child and the youngest child. Each of the older sibling have 1.5 points extra IQ than their latter siblings. It indicates the older siblings being more of a quick learner and more adaptive to the environment.

Siblings Relationship

Siblings can have greater impact on each other’s lives. Generally, older siblings tend to act as a mentor for the younger ones. They act as companions, teachers, and caregivers just as their parents do, sometimes even more than their parents’ affection.

With the positive relation, younger siblings can develop themselves a lot faster than the average timeline. It builds up emotional support in them. However, some relationships can be vicious for rivalry and jealousy. These tend to increase mental health problems in both of the teams and reduce the chance of well-being. 

Final Verdict

In this article, we included case studies related to siblings IQ level comparisons as much as possible. So, you can see that the older siblings have higher IQ than the younger siblings. Well, sometimes you might find exceptions like younger siblings exceling in education and career more than the older ones.

Perhaps, they improved themselves later in life by taking trainings from professionals. Otherwise, they are born exceptionally with higher IQ level that makes them more intelligent.

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