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Birth Order, Verbal Intelligence, and Educational Aspiration

David C. Glass, John Neulinger and Orville G. Brim, Jr.
Child Development
Vol. 45, No. 3 (Sep., 1974), pp. 807-811
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1127851
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1127851
Page Count: 5
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Birth Order, Verbal Intelligence, and Educational Aspiration
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Abstract

This paper presents data designed to test whether first and only children are superior to later-born children in reading ability and achievement motivation. Subjects were 2,523 tenth- and twelfth-grade public high school students. The results showed that first and only children were indeed superior to later borns on a test of reading ability. Responses to questionnaire items indicated that first and only children also had higher educational aspirations than later-born children. This finding was only true of families of higher socioeconomic background. Moreover, the results were due almost entirely to a difference between first and only children and third-born children. Second borns did not differ from the first and only groups and, in fact, performed better on the reading test than third borns. The results were interpreted in terms of parental attitudes toward rearing early- versus later-born children.

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