Researchers at the German University of Leipzig have found that the firstborn in a family could be the most intelligent of his siblings. However, the minors would be healthier and freer.

Since the family represents almost all interpersonal relationships that occur  during the first years of life. Scientific studies often focus on the effects it can have on  the development of the individual .

According to a large study conducted by the University of Leipzig in Germany. With 20,000 people of English, German and American nationality, even the order in which you became a member of your family could be decisive for your development.

The researchers’ conclusions

By studying the personalities of the participants and their  siblings , the researchers drew quite unexpected conclusions:

There are not many differences between an older brother and his younger brothers

In general, it is common to think that   older  children are more likely to abide by the rules. And that younger children are more undisciplined , but the researchers didn’t really notice this difference in a marked way. However, they did notice differences in terms of intelligence, health and personal relationships .

The older brother is more likely to be smarter

Older siblings tend to be more intelligent than younger siblings, that is, they show a greater ability to  understand abstract reasoning and are endowed with a broader vocabulary. Researchers have not been able to find a definitive explanation, but this may be the state and expectations of older siblings, who are more encouraged to improve .

The elder’s influence on his younger siblings

For their part, younger siblings have very positive aspects. First of all, they tend to be healthier than their older siblings . This may be because older siblings “bring home” various types of bacteria, allowing younger siblings to develop stronger immune systems.

Furthermore, younger siblings, compared to older siblings, tend to express their will with greater force. Even when your relationship choices contrast with your parents.

Obviously, the study’s conclusions are not final (intelligence and health are also determined by other genetic conditions and growth). But this research looks interesting.

Possible reasons for the differences

One of the theories is that younger siblings are paid less attention and receive fewer resources from their parents. While the oldest gets the full attention of the parents, at least for a few months or a few years, the following children will have to share it from the beginning.

Dr. Juhlia Rohrer’s hypothesis describes another possible factor: the older brother can instruct his younger siblings, explaining how the world works, etc.

Teaching others is very demanding in cognitive terms. Children need to remember their own knowledge, structure it, and think of a suitable way to explain it to younger people, which improves the intelligence of some older people.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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