Competition among siblings can pay off

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*Before I delve into the my post I need to make a little disclaimer.  I received my bachelors degree in the human development and family sciences field.  My husband is currently working on his Ph.D. in a psychology field.  I love research–not the number crunching part–and would be content to sit all day reading newly published psychology-related research articles.  (Don’t tell my husband.  He might think I’m a little off my rocker.  He hates research.)  So if you’re not so much into the workings of the human mind or the complex dynamics of human relationships bear with me.  If you are, enjoy!*

According to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association some of that sibling rivalry parents dread so much can actually greatly benefit siblings–well, the younger sibling at least.  Research found that while older children (of sibling pairs) scored higher on aptitude tests, the younger children often had higher grade point averages.

90 sibling pairs were given questionnaires about themselves and their brother or sister’s intelligence, work ethic, and academic performance.  The researchers then collected test scores and grade point averages.  Researchers found that younger siblings seek to outperform their older siblings by putting in extra effort in order to gain more attention from their parents. Interestingly, both firstborns and their younger siblings viewed themselves as the more naturally gifted teenager of the two!

 So now, let me ask.  Looking back, does this describe you and your siblings?  It certainly describes the academic “competition” between my brother and myself, though I was never under the illusion that I was the more naturally gifted one.  My older brother is one of the smartest people I know.  He set the standard for intelligence, and I worked very hard to live up to it.

I’d love to hear your comments and experiences on this subject.

To learn more about this study visit: CNNHealth


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. I agree about this!