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26 April 2006 / April

The older sibling effect

There’s an article in today’s Ithaca Journal about a study, from which they found that an older sibling makes it more likely for his or her younger counterpart to drink, do drugs, and perform other illegal or unacceptable acts. That’s nice. That makes me feel real good about myself as a younger sibling. Now I know that it is statistically more likely for me to become a crack addict, and just because of my older sister. Thanks. Of course, it’s not necessarily the older siblings’ fault, they say; it could be parents getting “lax” on parenting. But don’t take my word for it; here’s what the article says:

It finds that the very existence of an older sibling increases the chances that a younger sibling will drink, smoke, use marijuana or have sex.

“We show here that birth order effects are quite strong,” says Susan Averett, an economics professor at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. “We find a consistent effect. If you have an older sibling, you are more likely to engage in these risky behaviors. We don’t actually know if the older sibling is doing these things or not.”

But geez, talk about trauma. I think I’ll start living in a hole now, a small hole, with only a soft squishy pillow and a nice book. Actually, I should probably leave out the book, and maybe the pillow too, because who knows, maybe younger siblings are more likely to get high off printer ink or develop compulsive pillow-eating disorders as well.

In other news.

I actually had quite a good day. First of all, it was (and still is) gloriously sunny, and as anyone who knows me will realize, the weather has a perceptible effect on my mood.

I also got to miss part of Biology to rehearse NYSSMA stuff with Karin, and practice more NYSSMA stuff during lunch. It just hit me how soon NYSSMA is coming up– in what, like 10 days??? I have two accompaniments for that on Friday evening (including one whose music I just got today), a piano competition on Saturday, a piano recital on Sunday, and a third accompaniment that will be performed sometime during the next week. But this isn’t part of the whole good-day thing, so let me move on.

Our Cambodia presentation in Global went considerably better than expected. I was worried I’d forget how to speak or something when I got up there, but I think I did okay (aside from reading my notes in a monotone). And the level of enthusiasm over our Bingo game was gratifying. The fact that we were practically giving away handfuls of lollipops by the end of it helped, I’m sure.


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