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    #183407 - 02/28/14 08:22 AM Birth order and student performance
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    The abstract of the paper is at http://www.nber.org/papers/w19542 , and the paper is at http://artsci.wustl.edu/~pantano/Birth_Order_School_Performance.pdf . One could ask if it is fair to younger children to not push them as hard, or if it is fair to the oldest to be prodded to set an example. All three of children often say that we aren't being fair, which is perhaps a sign of our impartiality smile. The description of how parents raise first-borns reminds me of the Tiger Mother.

    http://www.nber.org/digest/mar14/w19542.html
    BIRTH ORDER AND STUDENT PERFORMANCE

    V. Joseph Hotz and Juan Pantano

    ...mothers with two children were almost 8 percent less likely to say that their second child was one of the best in his class.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Does birth order correlate with student performance, and if so, why? In
    Strategic Parenting, Birth Order and School Performance (NBER Working Paper No. 19542),
    V. Joseph Hotz and Juan Pantano present both empirical and theoretical
    evidence on these questions. They study all children born to the female
    respondents in the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth in families of
    two, three, or four children.

    They find that birth order affects perceived academic performance for 10- to
    14-year-olds. On average, mothers with two children were almost 8 percent less
    likely to say that their second child was one of the best in his class.
    Earlier-born children also had higher scores on the Peabody Individual
    Achievement Test and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test at age ten. The effects
    of birth order persisted for second children even when the sample was restricted
    to "intact" families in which children's performance had not been affected by
    divorce or other family disruptions.

    The evidence suggests that earlier-born siblings are more likely to be "subject
    to rules about TV watching and to face more intense parental monitoring
    regarding homework" and that "mothers are more likely to report that they would
    increase the supervision of one of their children in the event that child
    brought home a worse than expected report card when the child in question was
    one of her earlier-born children."

    The authors draw on game-theoretic models that emphasize reputational concerns
    in an attempt to explain the correlation between birth order and children's
    school performance. They conjecture that earlier-born siblings will put forth
    more effort in school and end up performing better because parents are more
    likely to set higher standards for earlier-born children and to impose
    consequences for poor performance. The study concludes that "parental reputation
    dynamics may explain part of the observed birth order effects in school
    performance."

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    #183416 - 02/28/14 09:10 AM Re: Birth order and student performance [Re: Bostonian]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Viewing this article through the lens of a third-born of four boys who significantly outperformed all his siblings in scholastic achievement, I am unimpressed.

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    #183417 - 02/28/14 09:15 AM Re: Birth order and student performance [Re: Bostonian]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3423
    Birth order effects are not as strong as one might expect, generally speaking, but there do seem to be some findings regarding firstborns doing a bit better in the IQ and achievement departments. I often see this attributed to the "more attention in infancy and toddlerhood" theory. When you're the first and only baby, you get spoken to and played with more.

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    #183419 - 02/28/14 09:20 AM Re: Birth order and student performance [Re: Bostonian]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Not true in my family. I have a lot higher standards for my second born.

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    #183427 - 02/28/14 09:33 AM Re: Birth order and student performance [Re: bluemagic]
    KADmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/11/13
    Posts: 690
    Originally Posted By: bluemagic
    Not true in my family. I have a lot higher standards for my second born.


    Same here, but to be fair they are twelve years apart, from different marriages, and I didn't know what I was doing with my first (which was probably a blessing because he's doing well in spite of me and in spite of his education).

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    #183429 - 02/28/14 09:45 AM Re: Birth order and student performance [Re: KADmom]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Originally Posted By: KADmom
    Originally Posted By: bluemagic
    Not true in my family. I have a lot higher standards for my second born.


    Same here, but to be fair they are twelve years apart, from different marriages, and I didn't know what I was doing with my first (which was probably a blessing because he's doing well in spite of me and in spite of his education).

    Well yes.. my son is 4.5 years younger. My older daughter had LD's, wasn't gifted. So while hope I 'expect' that my kids put in the same amount of effort, my expectations are that my son can do a lot better in school.

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    #183433 - 02/28/14 10:14 AM Re: Birth order and student performance [Re: Bostonian]
    NotSoGifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 445
    My eldest refers to herself (in jest) as the "dumb one" of my three kids. She was labeled as gifted, due to FSIQ > 130, but her scores on EXPLORE, PSATs, & SATs without prep are lower than her two sisters. Middle one has higher IQ than eldest, and youngest has not had an IQ test.

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    #183441 - 02/28/14 10:43 AM Re: Birth order and student performance [Re: Bostonian]
    SFrog Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/07/11
    Posts: 156
    Loc: IA, USA
    I am as unimpressed as Dude. I am the third of three children and I outperformed my siblings' combined efforts. Birth order is given too much credit for its influence.
    --S.F.
    _________________________
    For gifted children, doing nothing is the wrong choice.

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    #183444 - 02/28/14 10:50 AM Re: Birth order and student performance [Re: Bostonian]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    This is (IMO) rather like those studies that "show" that onlies are all narcissistic, antisocial high-achievers.

    Not really true. My DD is way more prosocial than her father (an oldest of sibs), as am I.

    Parenting is too varied, IMO, for such over-generalizations to be very valid in the first place.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #184029 - 03/05/14 11:47 PM Re: Birth order and student performance [Re: Bostonian]
    JamieH Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/26/11
    Posts: 111
    Loc: Canada
    A Global Economic Slowdown does not mean every country will experience an economic slowdown.  Global Warming does not mean every year will be warmer than the next.  Scientific studies involving a large sample of people are about looking at averages, finding trends, not predicting what will happen in individual cases.

    Economies, climate, people are all complex systems.  All are effecedt by large combinations of factors.  This is why individual cases do not always fall within the trend.

    Why do they do these studies that predict trends and not individual cases? To look for potential cause of concern. Then use this as a starting point to find the why behind the trends. The why can be used to then look for ways to alleviate any problems that may occur.

    This level of study is not particularly useful for individual families. Once they understand the why, then there might be something a family can work with. But still interesting from an academic point of view.

    I have not reviewed this particular study, but I have come across other studies involving birth order.  Some studies have found evidence of prenatal neurological development being effected by birth order in males.  It also appears only male pregnancies affect the development of future male babies.

    The effect appears to result in earlier born males having neurological development more in common with more female typical development and later born males having progressively stronger male typical development.

    Realize studies in these areas are difficult and the results are prone to a high degree of uncertainty. Sorry, I have not provided any links. I am writing this from memory. Feel free to look into this further.

    Interestingly enough, a medicine person in a tribal group told me of a custom whereby certain tribal roles were choosen based on male birth order. The role choices were in line with what the scientific studies found.

    I should mention I added in some of my own post analysis based on my knowledge of many areas involving people.


    Edited by JamieH (03/06/14 12:06 AM)

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