If you happen to have a son who has an older sibling, you’re in for a wild ride! According to researchers, second-born children, particularly sons, are more likely to end up in jail, become juvenile delinquents or get suspended.
According to a study led by economist Joseph Doyle, the ‘curse’ of the second child may be more than just an old wives’ tale. The research revealed that second-born children, and more specifically sons, have a 25% to 40% increased chance of getting into serious trouble at school or with the law, when compared to the first-born child in their family. Ouch!
The researchers delved through a huge amount of data, which came from two different areas – Florida and Denmark. And when it came to crime and delinquency, the numbers were damning.
“I find the results to be remarkable that the second-born children, compared to their older siblings, are much more likely to end up in prison, much more likely to get suspended in school, enter juvenile delinquency,” Joseph Doyle told NPR.
“Across all these outcomes, we’re getting 25 to 40% increases in the likelihood of these outcomes just by comparing a second-born sibling compared to a first-born.”
So why is there such a difference in behaviour between first and second-born brothers?
Joseph says the first-born son has adult role models. But the same can’t be said for the next child.
“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 labour market and what we find in delinquency. It’s just very difficult to separate those two things because they happen at the same time.”
There has been previous research indicating that first-born children do better at school, have higher IQs and often earn more money, but this study was the first that uncovered how naughty second-born kids are.
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