or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › General › General Chat › Who's more likely to succeed among sibblings?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Who's more likely to succeed among sibblings?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
http://msn.careerbuilder.com/custom/...home1&GT1=8132

(I'm an only child, so I'm always fascinated by studies on families with several children.)
post #2 of 17
Reading up to "their pay stubs" I stopped. Must we only define "success" as the size of the paycheck? The article continues...

"Research shows that first borns (and onlys) lead the pack in terms of educational attainment, occupational prestige, income and net worth. Conversely middle children in large families tend to fare the worst. (Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!)"

How about happiness? Sure it's hard to measure but isn't it more important?

Anyway, in my family it's hard to say we meet up with any of this. I am the youngest and have the most education, probably (though I don't actually know) have attained the highest salary, and probably have the more prestigeous job--though my net worth is obviously the lowest. But both of my sisters are well-enough off with their partners that they are able to stay home and take care of the kids. That is a luxury many people (female or male) would like to have. The middle of us was probably the least happy in her jobs.

A friend and I heard a very interesting lecture along these lines a number of years back in grad school. The speaker researched personalities of siblings (not necessary "success") and his conclusions certainly fit my family very well. My sister, who are only one year apart, were very different as children because there was natural sibling competition (the older was always the responsible one the younger was more of a "rebel") and I wasn't influenced by either of them because I was yet another 4 years younger. We never had any common interaction (school, social circles, etc.) in high school or college so I never had my sisters to compare myself to. Now as we are older they have become more like each other while I have veered off to become, in some ways, even more not like them.

They would never say that they are not successful because they aren't earning a big paycheck. They are very happy with their lives. I think there are times when they envy me (I tell them about NYC or some other place I just visited) and some times I envy them (for a long time while I was single).



Interesting stuff.

bob
post #3 of 17
There are some interesting findings related to birth order and physical characteristics. Yes, on average, there might be slightly more physical attractiveness among firstborns.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
There are some interesting findings related to birth order and physical characteristics. Yes, on average, there might be slightly more physical attractiveness among firstborns.

Then the rest of my family is in big trouble...
post #5 of 17
My own children may well prove or dis-prove this theory. As they are still works in progress, I can only speculate as to their earnings power, but there are stark differences in their personality types, some of which seem to jibe with the article Fab posted. Part of the difficulty in assessing my kids is that they are spread out over such a large timespan: I have four daughters aged 27 down to 9. But I can say without hesitation that my firstborn is (so far) clearly the most ambitious and aggressive. She enjoys having attention focused on her. The next (who's 20) is quiet, reserved and absolutely avoids the limelight. The next is but 16 and is going through her "everything's stupid and I hate everyone" phase, but she — if she's classified as a middle — goes against type: she will never be a peacemaker or a mediator. In fact, she demonstrates a lot of the characteristics the author finds in first-borns. The youngest is but 9, yet already well on her way to a career as both a charmer and manipulator. The birth order "rules" seem to me — in regards to the first- and last-born — to be pretty much no-brainers. Of course the oldest is going to be a trailblazer, and the baby is going to be a manipulator; that's what they do! The middle kids, I think, can't so easily be predicted. Edit: as to physical attractiveness, I say bunk. My oldest is easily described as pretty, most would term her beautiful. But as much as it pains me to say it, she is the mutt of the bunch!
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota rube
My own children may well prove or dis-prove this theory. As they are still works in progress, I can only speculate as to their earnings power, but there are stark differences in their personality types, some of which seem to jibe with the article Fab posted.

Part of the difficulty in assessing my kids is that they are spread out over such a large timespan: I have four daughters aged 27 down to 9.

But I can say without hesitation that my firstborn is (so far) clearly the most ambitious and aggressive. She enjoys having attention focused on her. The next (who's 20) is quiet, reserved and absolutely avoids the limelight. The next is but 16 and is going through her "everything's stupid and I hate everyone" phase, but she "” if she's classified as a middle "” goes against type: she will never be a peacemaker or a mediator. In fact, she demonstrates a lot of the characteristics the author finds in first-borns. The youngest is but 9, yet already well on her way to a career as both a charmer and manipulator.

The birth order "rules" seem to me "” in regards to the first- and last-born "” to be pretty much no-brainers. Of course the oldest is going to be a trailblazer, and the baby is going to be a manipulator; that's what they do! The middle kids, I think, can't so easily be predicted.

Edit: as to physical attractiveness, I say bunk. My oldest is easily described as pretty, most would term her beautiful. But as much as it pains me to say it, she is the mutt of the bunch!

This reply is worthless without pictures
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant.com
There are some interesting findings related to birth order and physical characteristics. Yes, on average, there might be slightly more physical attractiveness among firstborns.

This is most certainly a case of finding the result that you're hoping to find. There could be no scientific reason for better physical attractiveness among firstborns.

Women have all the eggs they're going to get at birth. No one egg is favored in any way. Men waste so much sperm over the course of their reproductive lives that any correlation between birth order and attractiveness that you found would have to be based on random chance. And let's not forget meiosis.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
This is most certainly a case of finding the result that you're hoping to find....

No.

Factors such as mother's health/previous pregnancies and father's age can cause developmental problems in the womb and at conception itself, respectively. Hence, the expression "the runt of the litter."

That doesn't necessarily mean that the firstborn will be the healthiest and therefore the largest and, more so for males than females, the most physically attractive. For example, a very young mother is at risk for certain problems. Or a mother could learn from experience to take better care of herself while pregnant.

Also, the book suggests that how a child is treated by parents impacts his or her future achievement. You know what? One frightening fact is that, on average, parents treat their better-looking children better than their less attractive siblings. (The youngest can also be in the aesthetically favored role, because children often become less attractive as they develop.)

The fact is only shared because it's believed that many Style Forum members have young children or will soon have them and are appearance-conscious and adequately self-aware to fight the instinctive bias.
post #9 of 17
I would agree that it seems that, statistically, first children do better, by material standards, than other children. I believe that part of it may have to do with the amount of time that parents spend with their kids, too. my son, who right now is an only child, gets a huge amount of attention from 2 parents, 4 aunts and uncles, and 3 grandparents. if and when he has siblings, they will have less attention and time from my wife and me, as well as the aunts and uncles. add to that that the grandparents may not be around that long. I believe that this is a direct contributor, as it the fact that older kids have more responsiblities.

I am the youngest, and, in many ways, the most successful of my siblings. but this was really an accident - as my parents split up with I was a teenager, I had more reposnsibility at a younger age than my siblings had, and I believe that was a major contributor (that I didn't discover drugs as a teenager)
post #10 of 17
The literature has shown that children born to mothers who are under the age of 18 or over the age of 34 are more likely to be of low birth weight.

Among the control variables, being female and a first born are associated with significantly higher birth weights. The coefficients associated with both of our variables of interest are significantly different from zero. Specifically, if an infant is born of low birth weight, then she or he appears to be 32 percent less likely to graduate from high school by the 19th birthday.


Those are quotes from one of the author's papers available at his homepage.


But, right, appearance can only be a small part of it.

For instance, a passage from another paper states...
the deleterious consequences of larger sibship size appear to affect the later born children and not the first-born children. In terms of educational financing (i.e. attending private school), as additional children are added, each seems to get less; but in terms of educational outcomes—i.e. likelihood of being held back—it appears that being stuck in the middle is most detrimental.
post #11 of 17
By chance, is anyone here an expert on fertility? There's an interesting question to be asked of someone who might be able to answer it.
post #12 of 17
I could easily see myself making a lot more money than my brother and having a more prestigious career, but at the same time I'd bet anything that he'll lead a more happy, less stressful life. He's the youngest and he's the total opposite to me in many years. Whereas I'm a bit of an epicure, he's extremely easy going, rarely gets bothered by things, and despite his extremely priviledged lifestyle, couldn't care less about material wealth or prestige. I should add that with regards to physical attractiveness, my brother might be a bit better looking than me, but that remains to be seen.
post #13 of 17
My older brother and I are kind of equal in success, but in very different ways. My brother finished college, but didn't really have to. His work now has nothing to do with what he took in college. He is an entrepreneur and has his own business. He does a lot of physical work even though he doesn't really have to.

Me, I'm a lot more educated. I not only went to college, but also went on to law school. My brother was always near the bottom of his class, I've always been near the top. Now I'm going to be working for a major law firm where I will be making about the same amount of money that my brother makes.

I have always kind of seen myself as the underdog though. My brother was always the first to do everything and my parents heaped on the praise. That's part of what has made me so determined to be just as successful as my brother, if not more so (depending on whether you define success as strictly monetary or if you define it as being at the top of everything you do), but to do it in a totally different way.
post #14 of 17
My oldest brother is the dickhead screw up of the family with the least education and the least success. So far anyway. My other brother (middle child) graduated high school early, went on to college, didn't have time to graduate because he got accepted to pharmacy school without finishing his degree. He has since graduated and is a pharmacist. I graduated high school early, I am in college currently and will spend my career in the Army as an officer. Given that the highest reasonably expected pay rate for a Military officer is less than 100k and my brother makes a minimum of 120k a year its pretty much set that he's going to be the more successful one according to the standards of measure used in that study.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant.com
The literature has shown that children born to mothers who are under the age of 18 or over the age of 34 are more likely to be of low birth weight.

Among the control variables, being female and a first born are associated with significantly higher birth weights. The coefficients associated with both of our variables of interest are significantly different from zero. Specifically, if an infant is born of low birth weight, then she or he appears to be 32 percent less likely to graduate from high school by the 19th birthday.


Those are quotes from one of the author's papers available at his homepage.


But, right, appearance can only be a small part of it.

For instance, a passage from another paper states...
the deleterious consequences of larger sibship size appear to affect the later born children and not the first-born children. In terms of educational financing (i.e. attending private school), as additional children are added, each seems to get less; but in terms of educational outcomes"”i.e. likelihood of being held back"”it appears that being stuck in the middle is most detrimental.


this is a problematic statistic.

here is the thing - the biggest problems with low birth weight have to do with the types of things that often make a person a bad parent:drugs, poor diet, alchohol, bad health habbits. so while many kids are born with low birth wieght and are just fine - I was an extremly small, premature baby - although I am a few inches shorter than I may have been otherwise, I am fine. my mother smoked while she was pregnant - pretty much any baby born to a drug addict, a person who is having trouble feeding herself, an alcoholic or such will most likely be underweight.

so you have to be careful about cause and affect here.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Chat
Styleforum › Forums › General › General Chat › Who's more likely to succeed among sibblings?