We know that first-born children are smarter than their siblings (well, at least according to this study), but now first-borns have one more thing to lord over their younger siblings’ heads.

A new study claims that second-born children are more likely to misbehave, sometimes with severe consequences. According to a report from Joseph Doyle, an MIT economist, the “curse of the second-born child” might be true after all. Doyle and his colleagues say that second-borns (particularly boys) are inclined to be more rebellious than their older siblings. Their collected data, which looked at thousands of sets of brothers in both the U.S. and Europe, showed that second-born children are 25 to 40 percent more likely to get in serious trouble at school or with the law.

One possible explanation for these findings is that parenting styles can change according to birth order, according to NPR. For example, first-born kids often receive undivided attention from parents, while younger siblings have to compete for attention. And, as the family grows, dynamics change.

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

Don’t worry if you’re a second-born child, though—this research doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of crime and mayhem, only that your birth order might just matter a bit more than you think!

On top of all that, some mothers admitted that they were not as strict with themselves about things like drinking and smoking during their second or third pregnancies, which could contribute to adverse outcomes for their babies.

For second born children, life can be a little harder than that of their siblings. For years, studies have shown that the oldest is typically the favorite, while the youngest is the most spoiled. So where does that leave the middle child?

Troublemakers. This means that middle children tend to be rebels and troublemakers. So why exactly is this? Doyle’s theory is that it has to do with the role models that you have while growing up.


(H/T :  Country Living )