New research suggests most parents have a favourite child, and good news for you if you're the first born because it’s probably you.
A study conducted at the University of California showed that out of the 768 parents surveyed, 70 percent of mothers and 74 percent of fathers admitted to having a favourite child. A total of 384 families were studied, with all participants living in a family with two parents and two children where the children were born within four years of each other.
Although the parents didn't specify which child was their favourite, the results from the study did suggest it is the older child who is normally preferred. All children in the study were asked if they felt their parents treated them differently, and whether this affected their self-esteem. Younger children were more likely to report having low self-esteem caused by their parents’ favouritism than first-born children, suggesting that it is generally older siblings who receive special treatment.
This flies in the face of the long-held belief that the baby of the family always gets preferential treatment. The study was led by Katherine Conger, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of California, who was surprised by the results of the study; she had assumed older siblings would be more likely to feel like they were being treated unfairly.
“Our working hypothesis was that older, earlier born children would be more affected by perceptions of differential treatment due to their status as older child—more power due to age and size, more time with parents— in the family."
So the good news for firstborns is that you are probably the favourite child. The bad news is that you probably won't get away with claiming that your younger siblings get preferential treatment anymore.
Via The Independent