Second-born children are families' biggest troublemakers, study reveals

30 March 2020, 11:52 | Updated: 15 December 2021, 12:02

The second child is actually likely to be naughty
The second child is actually likely to be naughty. Picture: Getty

The eldest siblings take the wrap for a lot of things, but a study shows that they aren't necessarily the naughtiest.

Younger siblings always get away with everything, or so the eldest sibling would say.

Parents often give the first-born child the tough rules and biggest telling-offs, with their younger brothers and sisters getting away with murder.

The eldest children have a bad rep
The eldest children have a bad rep. Picture: Getty

However, a study reveals that the second-born children are in fact the biggest troublemakers... interesting.

Joseph Doyle, an economist from MIT in the USA discovered that second-born children are more likely to misbehave, and it's mostly to do with how their parents bring them up.

The MIT Sloan School report has shown that second-born children are 25 to 40 per cent more likely to get in major trouble in school and even with the law - so keep an eye on them during lockdown.

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The experts believe that this is strongly related to how strict parents are with their first born and how they tend to go easy in comparison on their second-born.

Mr Doyle revealed to NPR, “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.

If science says so, it must be right
If science says so, it must be right. Picture: Getty

"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."

He continued: "It's just very difficult to separate those two things because they happen at the same time.”

This information will undoubtedly divide opinion among families!