For a while now I have been teaching children to swim and normally I teach them in families to make sure the younger ones are comfortable in this new environment. Seeing the children in this environment, it strikes me that the older sibling tends to answer for the younger child. This got me thinking about the IQ difference between siblings and why this may arise.
Research (https://www.jstor.org/stable/20055841) suggested that, especially in boys, the IQ is higher by 2.3 points in those that are older siblings rather than the younger siblings. This slight difference can have a huge impact on performance in exams and the classroom so is worth looking into the cause of IQ differences. However, there has been a dispute over many years as to whether this difference occurs due to birth order or to how they have been raised. Furthermore, perhaps the different cultural backgrounds have a huge impact upon the way children are taught to think about things and therefore their overall intelligence. But this opens up a bigger question – Is intelligence born or made?
I feel to understand truly whether siblings have differing IQ’s we also need to understand what proportion of intelligence is born or made.
This ‘In Brief’ Article was first published in the August 2015 Edition of UKEdMagazine. You can freely read the magazine online by clicking here.
Emma Rachels is an Undergraduate Student, Southampton.