We usually see multiple studies which say many a (usually positive) thing about the first-born. But, now, all second-born children are in the spotlight, if not for the most flattering of reasons, thanks to a study which says that these are more likely to be trouble-makers. 

 

So, if there was ever a time for the second-in-line to use those mischievous characteristics to their advantage, now is it.

 

 A recent study has now confirmed what is an age-old suspicion: the second child really is a bigger handful than the first - particularly if they're a boy.       

 

According to the findings, older siblings, specifically, second-born boys are more likely to go to prison, get suspended in school and enter juvenile delinquency because they are prone to mischief and because parents of first-borns are more invested in their upbringing.

 

Lead researcher John Doyle said of the findings, "I find 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, enter juvenile delinquency." 

 

But the eldest siblings needn't start feeling too smug, as the results indicate that it could be their fault in the first place.   

 

 

"The firstborn has role models, who are adults,” Doyle told NPR. “And the second, later-born children have role models who are slightly irrational two-year-olds, you know, their older siblings."

 

What also contributes to this is the fact, according to the study, that first-borns have the advantage of their parents' undivided attention for the first number of years, as well as when their younger sibling is born - it's the younger sibling that arguably never gets the exact same level of attention. 

 

“Both the parental investments are different, and the sibling influences probably contribute to these differences we see in the labour market and what we find in delinquency. It's just very difficult to separate those two things because they happen at the same time, " Doyle added.

 

But the good news is that this doesn't mean the eldest sibling is doomed to a life trouble, he or she can make a conscious decision to not be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

And until then, don't troublemakers have more fun anyhow?   

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