Study Shows First Borns Have A Mental Edge Over Younger Siblings

But who’s stronger?

sibling rival

If you have siblings, chances are you’ve felt like your older siblings have always been favored by your parents. While this may or may not be true, studies have shown that first-born children have a mental edge over their younger siblings.


Want to show your sibling up in a friendly competition? Check out the next page for a sibling strength challenge!

“Birth Order Effect”

While your parents may have given everyone the same amount of emotional support, studies show that a phenomenon known as the “birth order effect” may actually allow first-born children to enjoy better wages and education in life.


Some economists at the University of Edinburgh and at the University of Sydney examined data on children in the United States that assessed these children every two years from birth to 14 years old. They tested reading recognition, reading single words, and picture/vocab assessments. They also collected information on family background and economic conditions.

These studies found that first-born children generally exhibited higher IQ scores than their younger siblings. These findings have been shown to be prevalent by the age of one.

Parental Behavior


Parents with multiple children may exhibit the same amount of emotional support to everyone, first borns have been shown to receive more intellectual support that help with tasks such as reading and thinking skills. They generally had more time to spend working on crafts, reading to them, and playing instruments.

Before you freak out on your parents, know that not everything is their fault. As parents have more kids, it has been shown that parents take part in fewer “brain boosting” activities after their first one. They are also more likely to take more health risks while pregnant, such as smoking cigarettes.

Our results suggests that broad shifts in parental behaviour are a plausible explanation for the observed birth order differences in education and labour market outcomes.

– Dr Ana Nuevo-Chiquero School of Economics

Find out who’s stronger and a sibling strength challenge on the next page…

So Who’s Stronger?

Okay, so your sibling may have a slightly higher IQ (even if they don’t act like it), they may have a better job, and may have received better grades in school… who cares? The question is who is stronger.

Siblings Lifting

Next time your older brother brings up his fancy job at a family get together, ask him if he even lifts. Break out the most crucial heart-breaking memes you can to assert your ability to out-lift him in any exercise. You’ve had to put up with the physical abuse and roughhousing when you were younger, so now it’s time to assert your strength. You know, brawn over brain type stuff.

Sibling Strength Challenge

Now is the time to put that brawn to good use. This sibling strength challenge will once and for all end the sibling rivalry.

The way it works is simple; you beat them at their own game. They always flash around their fancy grades and talk about how smart they are, but can they do a push up? What about a burpee?

Now’s your chance.

Siblings Fighting

If you’ve ever heard anyone talking about how you are “wasting time” in the gym, this is when it pays off.

So this is pretty simple, this is a round-robin circuit-training style event. You each will take turns between the circuit; mostly so you can watch and make sure your sibling isn’t cheating.

Push Ups10
Lying Leg Raise10
Jumping Jacks20
Jump Squats10

Keep doing circuits until your older sibling decides that enough is enough. If both of you are in decent shape, add some difficulty to this challenge by adding 5 reps to each exercise every new circuit.

May your will and determination shine.

Wrapping It Up

Statistically speaking, first-born children certainly have a mental edge over their younger siblings. While this doesn’t account for every single family out there, the study is pretty comprehensive and they seem to account for other pieces of the puzzle.


Don’t fret, beating your older sibling(s) in the strength challenge will be fun, rewarding, and provide a little bit of bonding time between you. It never hurts watching them laying on the ground out of breath like a fish out of water, either.

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