You might have had a friend joke that they suffer from “middle-child syndrome,” but scientists are discovering that a person’s siblings might affect their personality even more than their parents do.

Whether you have a brother or sister as well as your birth order can dramatically impact whether you will be a risk-taker, a smoker, a drinker or an outgoing person, boston.com reports:

“Firstborns and only-children, for example, have a 3-point higher IQ on average compared with those born second … Those differences may seem subtle, but they translate into a 15 to 20 point difference in SAT scores, which could explain why your older sibling got into Harvard or Penn while you had to settle for Dartmouth or Cornell. Parents can devote 100 percent of their child-raising resources to the first child until they must divide those resources when the second child comes along and so on for each additional child. To compensate for the lack of parental attention, the youngest child may develop certain personality traits — like humor, spontaneity, or gregariousness — to shift the spotlight onto themselves. They also tend to take more risks, since they have less to lose … And siblings — especially those close in age and of the same gender — can influence each other’s bad health habits. Younger brothers and sisters are four times as likely to take up smoking, for example, when an older sibling smokes. Drug and alcohol abuse follow a similar pattern.”


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