Watch CBS News

Study: Second-Born Children Are More Likely To Break The Law

BOSTON (CBS) - A new study out of MIT and several other universities finds that second-born children are more likely to break the law.

Researchers studied thousands of sets of brothers and found that the second-born sons were 20-40% more likely to get in trouble at school and enter the criminal justice system.


Several factors may be at play. Parents often don't dote on their second-born children as much as they do on their first-born. They tend to spend less one-on-one time with them and are often less enthusiastic about doing engaging activities like reading bedtime stories and playing games.

Parents also tend to take less time off from work with a second-born child. As a result, second-born children feel like they have to compete for their parents' attention and may act out more.

This study hardly means that second-born children are destined to be delinquents, but parents should be aware that their behavior and attitudes towards younger siblings can have long-term effects.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.