How Firstborns Get Smarter

Family dynamics include labeling the oldest child as the 'responsible one'
By News Dude,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2007 9:58 PM CDT
How Firstborns Get Smarter
USA. Princeton, New Jersey. 1947.    (Magnum Photos)

(Newser) – In the wake of the study released last week on intelligence and birth order, parents and social scientists are scrambling to explain why firstborns score an average of three IQ points over subsequent children. Theories range from the role older children play as tutors to younger sibs to the notion that adding a child may diminish the family’s  "intellectual environment." 

Relevant dynamics may also include the tendency of families to label each child: the family cut-up, the klutz, the whiner, the New York Times notes. Eldest children tend to be tagged the most responsible. When asked what parents should do about this, one psychologist answers: nothing. “Younger siblings are more likely to take chances,” he adds. (Read more intelligence stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.