A recent study found that second-born children are more prone to misbehave, even with severe consequences.
The study was led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) economist Joesph Doyle. During his study, he found that his research suggested that the “curse of the second-born child” could be true.
NPR reported that in comparison to their older siblings, second-born boys are most likely to go to prison. The study further found that this had to do with how “hands-on” parents were with their first born versus their second child.
“The firstborn has role models, who are adults. And the second, later-born children have role models who are slightly irrational two-year-olds, you know, their older siblings.
“Both the parental investments are different, and the sibling influences probably contribute to these differences we see in the labor market and what we find in delinquency. It’s just very difficult to separate those two things because they happen at the same time.”
In another statement regarding his research, Doyle explained,
“Second-born children tend to have less maternal attention than do their older siblings because first-born children experience their mother’s maternity leaves and temporarily reduced labor market participation both following their own births as well as following the birth of the second-born.”
In order to conduct his study, Doyle focused on thousands of sibling pairs in Denmark and Florida. His findings suggested that second-born children are 20-40% more likely to have to be disciplined in school and to end up in the criminal justice system. But don’t let this get you down because this study doesn’t conclusively show that ALL second-born children are awful, there just seems to be a trend among second-born children and trouble.