The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


Older siblings influence younger siblings in education

Photos by Laura Beacham
(From left to right)Cas and Carolina Beacham, at ages three and four.

It’s no secret that older siblings influence their younger siblings, particularly in terms of family dynamics. But how do older siblings affect the education of their little siblings?

“Having older siblings go through the school has really pushed me to do my best in school,” said Cas Beacham, freshman and youngest sibling of four.

Academically, students are often inspired by older siblings to do well in school due to the imitation effect. The imitation effect is the tendency for young siblings to look up to and mimic their elder siblings’ actions.

“I think [my little brother] sees me as a role model. We’re very close… he definitely imitates things I do,” said Anya, freshman and older brother.

Elder siblings’ success can create expectations and goals for their younger siblings. These goals enhance motivation and push many students to work hard in school, both educationally and socially.

Headshot of Cas Beacham, a student with three older siblings. All of the Beacham children have attended Athens Drive. (Photos by Inez Pare)


“You have so many more connections when you have older siblings in the school. Especially when they’re welcoming to you. It can open up a lot of stuff for you,” said Beacham.

Furthermore, older siblings can guide their younger sibling through school, offering advice on teachers, classes, and school activities. This assistance can be considered valuable for students who are just starting out at a new school. Elder siblings who have already navigated the social dynamics of school also often help younger siblings feel more comfortable in their interactions with peers. These social connections generally impact the future of a student’s schooling experience.

“My sister is currently a junior… having a sister here has really opened up my avenues of communication,”

— Cas Beacham


However, having a relative in school can also create some challenges for younger siblings. For example, younger siblings may feel pressure to live up to their older siblings’ academic reputations or social status. This pressure can lead to a sense of inadequacy, competition, stress, and low self-esteem, which negatively impacts the younger student. Either way, being in education with siblings is an experience that affects their younger counterparts in various ways.

“It has impacted the way that I learn and it has impacted the way other people around me view me because of my older siblings. A lot of people regard me in the same way they regard them,” said Beacham.

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