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Eldest children selfish than siblings

india Updated: Dec 12, 2009 17:35 IST

Surrounded by problems and need a helping hand? Don't ask your firstborn as a French study has found that eldest children are more selfish and less co-operative than their siblings.

Researchers from the Montpelier University, found that the arrival of a younger brother or sister has long-lasting impact on the eldest child's personality, leaving them wary of others and their motives. "Shifting from only to firstborn status following the birth of a younger sibling seems to lead the eldest child to reduce his or her co-operative behaviour," they said.

In other words, the shock of finding themselves no longer the centre of their parents' world dents their trust, making them warier of people's motives, The Daily Mail reported. Earlier studies have found that firstborns show higher IQs than their siblings.

This may be because they benefit from having their parents' undivided attention at the start of their lives. But mollycoddling of the first baby also leads to eldest children growing up to be more conservative, uptight and anxious, in contrast, younger siblings tend to be more easy-going, more unconventional and more able to cope with stress.