You might feel like as the youngest child you are the one your parents love the most but this study says you’re wrong. It seems research shows that the first born child really does hold a special place in the heart of his or her parents.
Researchers from the University of California took the time to collect data from almost 400 families in order to come to the conclusion that the oldest child is usually the favorite. For this study, they asked pairs of teenage siblings to explain their feelings in regards to how their parents treated them and how they treated the rest of the siblings. Their findings showed that most of the time the younger siblings felt that their parents seemed to be more trusting and biased in regards to the older siblings or more specifically eldest sibling.
The abstract of this study goes as follows:
This study examined reciprocal links between parental differential treatment, siblings’ perception of partiality, and self-worth with 3 waves of data from 384 adolescent sibling dyads. Results suggest that birth-order status was significantly associated with self-worth and perception of maternal and paternal differential treatment. There was a consistent across-time effect of self-worth on perception of parental partiality for later-born siblings, but not earlier born siblings, and a consistent effect of differential treatment on perception of partiality for earlier born but not later-born siblings. The results contribute new insight into the associations between perception of differential parenting and adolescents’ adjustment and the role of birth order.
They basically found that 74 percent of moms and 70 percent of dads confessed to liking one of their kids more than the rest meaning that yes, most do pick favorites. While they were not all willing to specify which one they liked the most the children seem to already have a good idea. Elder siblings seem to feel more confident and assertive than their younger brothers and sisters.
While the oldest sibling might be the favorite in most cases he or she also provides the younger siblings with a lot of benefits. Having someone to look up to that is so close to you can help boost your intelligence and help you make better life choices. This study was one that went in the opposite direction than expected as researchers had assumed the firstborn child would be the one who felt pressured and as if he or she was being treated harshly.
What do you think about these findings? I for one think they are pretty accurate, as a first born child I believe I am the favorite amongst my siblings. Do you feel like these findings are accurate for your situation?