A new study out of MIT and several other universities reveals that second-born children are more likely to break the law, at least in the case of boys.
Researchers studied thousands of sets of brothers and found that the second-born sons were 20-40% more likely to get in trouble at school and enter the criminal justice system. (Their parents are also 70% more likely to forget their name and birthdate, based on this writer’s experience as a mom of two.)
Several factors may be responsible:
- Parents often don’t dote on their second-born children as much as they do on their first-born. They tend to spend less one-on-one time with them and are often less enthusiastic about doing engaging activities like reading bedtime stories and playing games.
- Parents also tend to take less time off from work with a second-born child. As a result, second-born children feel like they have to compete for their parents’ attention and may act out more.
Although this study hardly means that second-born children are destined to be delinquents, parents should be cognizant of the fact that their behavior and attitudes toward younger siblings can have long-term effects. And, you know, lead to a life in prison for that child. No pressure or anything.
See also: Second Child Syndrome.