Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Science confirms the truth: parents really do have a favourite child

GettyImages-457185732.jpg

No matter where you land in the family pecking order: oldest, middle or youngest child, it’s likely you've always had a sneaking suspicion that your parents have a favourite.

Did a sibling always get let off easier than you, growing up? Were there always more chips on their plate? More sprinkles on their ice cream?

Well, it turns out that the rumours are true; your parents did, and probably still do, have a favourite child.

Science has confirmed it.

In a study carried out by sociologist Katherine Conger, researchers asked 384 groups of adolescent siblings whether or not they felt their parents preferred one child over another, and how that has affected their self-esteem.

The primary findings of the study revealed that the eldest child most commonly feels that they are they favourite, due to a combination of factors including first-born status, and the increased power that comes with age and a lifetime spent paving the way.

Sound of Music

The youngest siblings reported that they often felt the least appreciated, and were regularly on the receiving end of stricter rules as a result of mistakes made by their older brothers or sisters.

But while that’s all very interesting, here’s the part that’s really grabbing headlines.

After talking to the siblings, researchers also asked the respective parents for their perspective on the feedback.

Although all parents agreed that they would never reveal the information to their children, they did confirm to the researchers that they may have treated one child a little better than the rest.

An incredible 74 per cent of mothers and 70 per cent of fathers admitted to giving preferential treatment to one child over the others. Which as we can all deduce, equates to having a favourite.

So, there you go.

 

Related

LillyWachowski.jpg

Matrix director Wachowski on coming out as a transgender woman

the sound of music von trapp family children.jpg

What your ranking in the family pecking order says about you

ridget jones thong.jpg

Why we should all wear men's underwear

cara delevingne model.jpg

Cara Delevingne opens up about her battle with “self-hatred”

single-mum.jpg

Single mums by choice; meet the women who started families alone

rexfeatures_5073872ce.jpg

Oldest children are 'cleverer than their siblings'

rexfeatures_3384573a.jpg

It's official: eldest siblings are smarter, nicer and more outgoing

Samantha Jones Sex And The City 2.jpg

Meet three women happy to be child-free by choice

Red Riding Hood.jpg

What happened when our favourite children's characters grew up?

Comments

More

This gin is one of the best in the world – and costs under £10

It keeps topping the polls in industry taste tests, but leaves you change from a tenner

by Amy Swales
27 Jul 2017

30-year-old pilot becomes youngest ever woman to captain a Boeing 777

And she's shared her best career advice

by Sarah Biddlecombe
27 Jul 2017

Research says that half the atoms in our body come from another galaxy

You are a celestial being and should be treated as such

by Jasmine Andersson
27 Jul 2017

Veterans react with outrage to Trump’s transgender military ban

“I risked my life for all, including you”

by Amy Swales
27 Jul 2017

Elderly man spoon-feeds his wife ice cream, internet can't handle it

An act of true, unmitigated love

by Anna Brech
27 Jul 2017

These are the UK's best bars for indulging your love of gin

G&T, anyone...?

by Jenny Tregoning
27 Jul 2017

The 10 songs that DJs have banned from wedding playlists

If you were planning on playing this at your wedding, think again

by Megan Murray
27 Jul 2017

‘Not having sex with your husband is abuse,’ insists Malaysian MP

The MP previously said nine-year-old girls were "physically ready" for marriage

by Jasmine Andersson
27 Jul 2017

The one thing you should never include on your LinkedIn profile

Employers are less likely to hire someone who does this...

by Megan Murray
27 Jul 2017

How to spot if your boss has psychopathic tendencies

“The most obvious, immediate behaviour is that they lie”

by Anna Brech
27 Jul 2017