By Dr. Mallika Marshall

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.

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Researchers studied brothers to come to the conclusion that second-born sons were more likely to end up in the criminal justice system. (WBZ TV)

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.

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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.

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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.

Dr. Mallika Marshall