Study: Last Born Just As Smart As First Born

August 28, 2006

Younger siblings are just as smart as firstborn children, according to a study published by Parents magazine.

Contrary to the belief that parents invest more time and energy in teaching their first-born, therefore they are smarter, younger siblings scored just as high on intelligence tests as their oldest brother or sister, according to researchers at Ohio State University in Columbus. The researchers studied 3,000 families and compared intelligence test results for when kids were between 7 and 8 and then again at 13 to 14 years of age.

Parents actually ran a series of intriguing studies in its September issue. In another mentioned study, Harvard researchers found that stimulant drugs that treat ADHD can stunt a child’s growth.

For example, a 10-year-old taking Ritalin is two to three centimeters shorter on average than a child who’s not on the drug. The authors don’t know if kids will catch up eventually.

Also no word on how the scientists reached this conclusion, considering that some kids are late bloomers.

Finally, make sure that your TV is low on the ground or tacked onto the wall. Last year, six children were killed when heavy, large TV sets fell on top of them. Another 2,300 kids were treated in the emergency room for TV-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

And if you need any more proof that fathers are crucial to the success of breastfeeding moms, a study in Pediatrics found that women whose husbands took a 40-minute breastfeeding class were 67 percent more likely to still be exclusively breastfeeding at six months than those dads who did not take the class. My husband and I did not attend any parenting classes — not even Lamaze — but I would say that a lactation course would have been helpful.