Second Born Children More Likely To Get Into Trouble And Enter Criminal System Than Firstborn Kids, Study Reveals

Attention parents online. In case you’ve had difficulty figuring out why your second child is demonstrating bad behavior, you may want to read this post.

According to a new study conducted by researchers coming from MIT, Northwestern University, the University of Florida and others, your second-born child, especially if it is a boy are “20 to 40 percent more likely to be disciplined in school and enter the criminal justice system compared to first-born boys.”

This specific study was conducted in Denmark and also in Florida, they both saw results which were very similar across the two places. “Measures of infant and childhood health, parental investments, school quality, and sibling composition” were taken into consideration, according to the paper.

Through all that, there was one small bit of information that was found suggesting, “maternal employment and the use of daycare is higher for second-borns in years 2 to 4 compared to older siblings.”

Adding to that, the study continued saying, “While [first-borns have] undivided attention until the arrival of the second-born, these results show that the arrival of the second-born child has the potential to extend the early-childhood parental investment in the first-born child and a concomitant bifurcation of parental attention between first and second-born children.”

MIT economist Joseph Doyle, who happens to be one among the authors from the paper, in an interview with NPR revealed that he found, “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 and enter juvenile delinquency.”

“Across all these outcomes, we’re getting 25 to 40 percent increases in the likelihood of these outcomes just by comparing a second-born sibling to a first-born,” he added. He continued saying, “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.”

Furthermore, Doyle said, “Both the parental investments are different, and the sibling influences probably contribute to these differences we see in 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.”

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