AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Science Proven Fact: The Older Sibling is the Best

As it is very clear to see, I am the alpha sibling. I am better than my brother in all ways. I always knew this, but now I can prove it with science!

Exhibit A: My parents just love me the most.

The main difference in the upbringing of an older sibling and a younger sibling is the quality of parental investment. With their first child, parents (on average) put a greater effort into reading with their child, playing music/listening to music, or taking them places. However, with next child, parents decrease the level of cognitive stimulation. The Home Observation Measure of the Environment, used to assess the quality of a child’s learning environment, shows that the first-born child has higher quality cognitive stimulation from the parents compared to the younger siblings.

Zach Chisolm,


Exhibit B: The Birth Order Effect

The Birth Order Effect is when earlier-born children make higher wages and have better occupations as adults than their younger siblings. The more years between the birth of the first child and the birth of the second child, the more benefit to the older sibling. This is because as parents have more children, they need to divide up their time and resources among more offspring. Although as time passes, parents generally make more money and gain experience, their attention must be divided among all of their children.

Differences in the social and physical development of children as a result of the Birth Order Effect can arise even before the age of three. These differences become more apparent as the children grow older, and can be seen in verbal, reading, math, and comprehension tests.


Exhibit C: Oprah is an older sibling. You get a car!


Disclaimer: Regardless of birth order, parents generally put in the same amount of effort for each child to ensure appropriate emotional development. So don’t worry! There is hope for my brother and all of the younger siblings out there!





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1 Comment

  1. evansymes

    Ok. Wow SARAHTONIN, I didn’t know you felt this way. This is hurtful. This is emotionally harmful content. This is fake news. Just kidding (kind of). I think this is a very interesting post about human nature and how that affects parenting. I see the validity of your points in that the first child is bound to get more attention as in the beginning the first child is the only child. I think that a counterpoint that can be made is that while it may be valid to state that older siblings are more likely to receive the most attention. This may not benefit them. In the article “why being a middle child could lead to greater success”- , it’s stated that children who don’t receive attention can learn to be more independent and better at conflict management. It was also pointed out that Bill Gates, Abe Lincoln, Nelson Mandela and Warren Buffett were all middle children, SO TAKE THAT SARAHTONIN THATS LIKE THE FOUR BEST PEOPLE WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT!!!

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