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Elder brothers may interfere with language development of younger sibling

Washington D.C. , Sept 7 : Researchers suggest that children with elder brothers have poorer linguistic performance.

Surprisingly elder brothers impact language skills of their younger siblings, as a study conducted by a research team from organisations like CNRS, the AP-HP, the EHESS, the ENS, and the INSERM showed.

The study published in the journal -- Psychological Science -- found that children who have grown up with an elder sister have identical development to children with no elder sibling.

More than 1000 children were included in the study to evaluate their language skills at the age of 2, 3 and 5.5 by tests measuring several aspects of language, such as vocabulary, syntax and verbal reasoning.

Children who have an elder brother had on average a two-month delay in language development compared with children with an elder sister.

The scientists propose two hypotheses that may explain this result. The first is that elder sisters, in being more willing to talk to their younger siblings than brothers, may compensate for their parents being less available.

Another hypothesis would be that elder sisters compete less than elder brothers for parental attention.

Though this study cannot separate these two hypotheses, it does show that early language development in a younger sibling tends to be slower when the elder is a boy.

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Elder brothers may interfere with language development of younger sibling


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