Second-born Kids more Likely to be Troublemakers

July 17, 2017

Second-born kids are either the baby, or in the middle, so is their behavior even their own fault? Regardless, a new study from an MIT economist claims second-born children are more likely to misbehave than their siblings, and sometimes this brings severe consequences. Study leader Joseph Doyle and his colleagues say second-borns (particularly boys) are inclined to be more rebellious than their older siblings, and that both in the U.S. and in Europe, second-borns are 25 to 40 percent more likely to get into serious trouble at school or with the law. NPR says one possible explanation for this is the fact that parenting style can change according to birth-order. Which can mean, for example, that first-borns get undivided parental attention while younger siblings have to compete for attention. Doyle adds, "The first-born has role models, who are adults. And the second, later born children have role models who are slightly irrational 2 year-olds, you know, their older siblings. Both the parental investments are different, and the siblings influences probably contribute to these differences we see in the labor market and what we find in delinquency."

Source: Harpers Bazar