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New research: Second-born children are more likely to be criminals

I am a third child, and I have an older brother and sister. Apparently, that means I have a higher chance of becoming a criminal!

If you’d ask my siblings, then I’m sure they’d agree. We sure had our tussles growing up! But I didn’t turn out bad in the end – unless you count jaywalking every now and then.

In any case, I think a lot of people will find this research interesting. Be sure to share this article with your siblings to see what they have to say about it!

A new study shows that second-born children are more likely to get into trouble at school or have run-ins with the law later in life.

Researchers at Northwestern, MIT and University of Florida reached this conclusion after having studied thousands of brothers in the state of Florida and in Denmark.

Despite Denmark and Florida having wildly different cultures and languages, the research in both places consistently showed that second-born sons are much more likely to become delinquents.

little brother is mad
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In families with two or more children, second-born boys are 20-40% more likely to get into trouble at school and enter the criminal justice system compared to first-born boys.

The researchers have a few theories about why this is the case:

  • Second-born children don’t get as much attention as the first-borns did when they were the same age. This can cause some children to act out to get more attention.
  • Parents tend to take less time off when they have their second child, which means that you don’t just compete for attention with your older sibling, but also with your parents’ careers and other responsibilities.
  • Second-borns might act out more because they look up to their older sibling, while first-borns look up to adults instead. This means that second-borns have a child as a role model rather than a responsible adult.

Several studies have found that older siblings tends to be smarter than their younger brothers and sisters. This is possibly caused by parents giving them more attention and doing activities with them that increase intelligence, such as reading stories or solving puzzles.

Boys get into a fight
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But there’s no need to panic. The number of kids who get into serious trouble is still relatively low, maybe 1 in 20. But out of these kids, second-born sons are over-represented.

Source: Birth Order and Delinquency

In my opinion, studies like these should be taken with a grain of salt. The most important thing is giving your kids attention and playing with them when you have the energy. And reading an extra bedtime story to your little boy sure can’t hurt!

What do you think? Does this check out? Feel free to SHARE this article with your siblings and discuss!

 

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