It's official: Second born children are more likely to be troublemakers

A new study has shown second born children, especially boys, are more likely to get in trouble than first born.

Yep, it’s officially science.

Second-born sons are more likely to face disciplinary actions and truancy at school, juvenile delinquency, and adult crime and imprisonment, according to a new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Joseph Doyle.

The researchers looked at sets of data involving tens of thousands of brothers across Denmark and Florida.

"In families with two or more children, second-born boys are on the order of 20 to 40 percent more likely to be disciplined in school and enter the criminal justice system compared to first-born boys," the study reads.

While researchers have previously suggested that first-born children have higher IQs, perform better in school and earn more money, this new report is among the first major studies to make a compelling case that second-born children are more at risk to become troublemakers.

Doyle said this may be caused by a number of factors, including the second child's need to compete for attention, and the presence of such a young role model in the second-born child's life.

Parents are also often more invested in their first-born’s upbringing. Once a family’s second child arrives, parents tend to be less vigilant, he said.

“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.”

Although not every family will have a troublemaker as their second child, the report suggests that keeping an eye on their children could be beneficial overall.