Web parents, you’ve ever wondered why your second child seems to be so much more bother than your eldest child.
Okay, science has a comment, and no, that’s not just you.
A recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studied the effect on delinquency of birth-order.
The study looked at a large number of children from the US state of Florida and Denmark in data sets.
“We find that second-born boys are much more likely to present problems with delinquency compared to their older siblings,” the authors of the study wrote.
Of particular note in the study, second-born boys are 40 percent higher than first-borns involved with the juvenile justice system.
This rate is reflected in school suspension rates, though truancy rates between first-and second-borns are found to be about the same.
In families with two boys, the tendency toward delinquency was most notable; adding a girl to the mix brought down the delinquency rates.
Interestingly, the data findings from Florida and Denmark – two very different environments – was consistent.
Okay… it’s obviously the amount of love parents give to their kids.
In short, the study suggests that their parents are paying more attention to the firstborn. Second-borns are getting fewer.
“Second-born children tend to get less maternal attention than their older siblings do,” writes the authors. They explain that the firstborns get the benefit of maternity leave from their mother after their own births and after the birth of their sibling.
The research does not indicate that all second born kids should end us as delinquents.
However it may answer that age old questions parents have been dying to say out loud for eons… ‘why can’t you just be more like your older brother?’