A new study claims that eldest children are the smartest and highest-achieving in families, partly because parents are able to spend more time with them.
Joseph Hotz, a professor at Duke, authored the study and says the research shows that parents behave differently with their first child. Disciplining them more than other children.
“They’re more harsh with their oldest children. They want to influence their younger children,” said Hotz.
Hotz says greater monitoring of first born children is the sticking point in the study. He says this is why younger children are more prone to do poorly in school and engage in bad behaviour. Hotz says second- and third-born kids should not feel like they are predestined for failure. He says the data is indicative of the fact that parents have a role in how they treat children of different age groups. He says although there is a pattern showing first borns do better, that is not a natural thing that just happens.
“I’m the third-born of a family of five. I don’t feel like I’m destined to certain outcomes,” said Hotz.
Hotz says that although data shows that first-borns are more successful, there is still a big individual component to what people do that’s not birth-order specific. He says this study shows that a big contributing factor to the trend is the parental direction of most families.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.