The Most Well-Liked Sibling, According To Research

Are you the most well-liked sibling in the family?

siblings looking out window two sisters and brother KlavdiyaV / Shutterstock

Our siblings are our first friends, hopefully. They're the ones who watch you go through everything in your life, even the things you would rather not remember.

You would hope that all of you would be perceived equally, but unfortunately, that's not true.

Your parents, even the rest of the world, view you and your siblings very differently.

If you ever wondered who was more likable among you and your siblings, researchers have your answer.


The age-old question of, who's mom and dad's favorite kid may finally be answered.

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According to a 2017 study done by Brigham Young University's School of Family Life that looked at the way parents treated their children, parents do, indeed, have a favorite.

They studied nearly 300 families who had at least 2 teenagers and questioned them on their relationship with each other.

As it turns out, your youngest sibling is most likely to be everyone's favorite sibling, but not because of anything they've done, in particular. 

Researchers asked the parents how they felt about all their children, and then asked the children how they felt about their parents.


If the youngest answered that they believed themselves to be the favorite, then it showed they had a better relationship with their parents — in turn making them the favorite. 

But if the parents disagreed, then their relationship with their parents was more strained.

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It really is all about perception, and if we all just say we're our parent's favorite, it might come true.

Maybe it's time to question your own parents on who their favorite is and see if that can cause World War III or at least a rowdy Sunday afternoon.

And if they say they don't have a favorite, tell them science says they're lying. 


To make matters even worse, according to expert Dr. Catherine Salmon, your youngest sibling is also perceived to be the most fun and outgoing.

Because your parents aren't as harsh on the youngest as they were with the oldest, the younger sibling tends to have a more laid-back attitude and the ability to be more social.

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And because of how the oldest child is raised and treated by their parents — they usually believe their parents pay more attention to their younger siblings — they tend to have a more independent nature and take on a caretaker role in the family.

They are likely more protective and caring of the younger siblings.


Don't get your pitchforks out just yet, as this can also lead to the youngest sibling being more spoiled, because of all the attention their parents gave them.

At least there's one silver lining in all of this. If you can't beat them, join them. 

And if you're the youngest in your family, we hope you use your power for good, and try to book a family vacation to the Caribbean next summer.


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Isabel Steger is a writer and assistant editor at YourTango.