The article evaluates how birth order affects the cognitive development of the child, which in turns influences the academic performance. This was obtained through the survey on the research that was carried out using the mother and child data based on the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The result indicates that those children who are first born have more opportunities as compared to the others, especially those who come last. The author argues that the ability to talk is higher than those in the middle and the end. This was evident from the research, that the child’s cognitive development is affected by the birth order and those who come early display a positive outcome as opposed to the subsequent group of siblings. This not adequately evaluated because the research does not indicate if the birth order can affect cognitive development of the child. For instance, there is no evidence to support claims that last-child perform better than intermediate children
The study was based on three main samples which include a nationally representative, military and supplemental samples. The author used female participants who were interviewed and others in the supplemental over samples. The main sample contained 2477 white non-Hispanic, 405 back non Hispanic and 226 Hispanic women. The sample of supplemental comprised of 1067 black and 751 Hispanic women. The research was done on mother –child data obtained from cohort of NLSY79 and was conducted annually to make sure there was consistent with the results, and no error was made. The information was collected from students, married, employed and healthy parents. The variables used were parental age, the average grade, number of siblings, employment status, family income, and the birth order. This was relevant enough to determine whether the hypotheses stated is valid or not, the results were linked to the expectation whereby the given factors gave any significant effect on the cognitive development academic achievement. Illustrations and sample tables are presented properly to give a summary of the results. The sampling method was relevant because it supported the hypotheses that were used in the research.
The study used data from the 1979 cohort of the NLSY79. The survey collected data on marriage, fertility, employment and health. The follow up interviews were conducted annually. Data was investigated and analyzed statistically using association of the attention score, order of birth, and the score of academic score. This was divided into three groups which were the first born, middle born, and last born. The examiner then obtained the academic performance and attention score, and evaluated them using mean of each birth order set, and the outcomes were presented on the table. The data used in the research was adequate because it examined different variables used in the research.
The research faced various challenges in that the method used the survey, which was insufficient and inaccurate. For instance, the participants were only asked the grades they obtained, which means even some of them could lie. Therefore, a better method should have been used to check the performance accurately. In addition, the number of participants was too specific to conclude the research was based on employment status. It did not consider those who perform well would be from poor families, which have inadequate resources to offer the comfort ability, but show higher cognitive development.The results did not provide enough evidence to confirm the hypothesis since other research on the same topic disputes the results. The child’s cognitive development may be as a result of the mother child relationship at the early age, the age of the mother when pregnant and the psychological torture that she went through in the course of pregnancy. Similarly, the genes of the parents, and the environment influence the cognitive development. The researcher forgot that even the setting of the lifestyle may hinder the academic performance as well as the cognitive development. The fact that the participants stated that their parents give attention is not valid even the orphans who live with cruel relatives perform better than those who are raised by parents. The author did not capture the real picture of the population, which shows the inadequacy of the research findings.
The research was based on the family, which indicate that if there were more other people from different places, work, orphanages, this could have given a different outcome of the hypothesis. Therefore, the same research should involve all participants from different backgrounds, schools, geographical areas, towns, slums and many more. The research did not consider the spacing among the siblings, and the number of siblings in the family. Similarly, parental attention could be considered because it can give two different results at the same time. The siblings can also influence the level of academic performance and should have been considered. However, the evidences from research indicate a correlation between hypotheses and finding.
The results showed that there was no significant interaction between the attention, birth order and academic performance. Therefore, analysts of the results should have applied a more modified system, which should add more variables such as staying with relative or parent, single parent, or both. The treatment from staying with a relative could have been different from staying with a parent. Similarly, being with a single parent could have given another factor as opposed to the assumptions made. The ethical considerations and limitations should have been considered. The research should have used a different method in obtaining the students' performance to allow teachers to evaluate the performance depending on the ability of the child. Since there was no adequate evidence on the research topic, a further research should be done that focuses on the limitations.
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