Scientists “Prove” Younger Siblings Get Less Discipline

May 02, 2008 03:09 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The study’s findings are no surprise to many, raising questions about the value of such research.

30-Second Summary

Researchers studied more than 11,000 subjects and learned that parents are stricter with their first-born children. The study predicted that younger children, aware that they can get away with more than their older siblings, are more likely to exhibit rebellion and risky behavior.

The study focused on teen pregnancy and high school dropout rates, and found that parents’ treatment of their children depended in part on whether there were younger siblings present in the home.

For many reading about the study—especially those with siblings—the findings were no surprise. Studies on birth order and its influence on personality and family dynamics offer little consensus—and little knowledge gained beyond what our own family experiences teach us.

Though no one denies the value of informed scientific research, the scientific community is rampant with studies of questionable merit: studies that contradict themselves, studies that present dubious findings, and studies that get twisted by the media.

Headline Links: Connecting birth order and discipline

Opinion & Analysis: Behavior a product of birth order or other factors?

Related Topics: Other questionable studies

Reference: Parenting Web Guide


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