A study has validated the observation that second-born children in the family are more of troublemakers as compared to their other siblings. While this does not seem to be surprising for many, we all couldn’t help but wonder: why is this the case in the first place?
It is, of course, a common observation that first-born children are more ambitious and motivated than their younger siblings. While it is believed that younger siblings are more easygoing, possibly because parents may have become a bit lax after having been extra-attentive on the first-born, a report released earlier has specifically confirmed that second-born children are more likely to get in trouble in school and, later in life, even with the law.
Entitled “Birth Order and Delinquency,” the study utilized data of violent crime and school suspensions for thousands of siblings in Denmark and Florida.
Since the two places have distinctly different cultures, the researchers knew that the study would be more meaningful if they found the same results.
As, statistically speaking, boys get into troubles more often than girls (both in school and with the cops), the study chose to focus on second-born boys. True enough, the results revealed that a second-born boy in the family was more likely to be disciplined in school and enter into the criminal justice system than the oldest child.
A research has confirmed that second-born children are likely to become troublemakers in school and even lawbreakers later on in life.
According to the research’s lead author, MIT economist Joseph Doyle, first-born children receive undivided attention from their parents for months and even years before the second sibling joins the family. Because of the undivided attention and discipline, the first-born child is more prepared in navigating a chaotic world as compared to the second child.
As parents give their first-born undivided attention and discipline, they are more guided and prepared as they steer into the real world later on in life.
“The firstborn 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.”
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