Second born children more likely to become criminalsby Roberta Lunghini - 2017.07.19
Second-born boys are on the order of 20 to 40 percent more likely to enter the criminal justice system compared to first-born boys even when one compares siblings. This is the result of a recent American study that used particularly rich datasets from Denmark and the state of Florida to analyze the relationship between birth order and delinquency. It came out that second-born boys are substantially more likely to end up getting in trouble at school and exhibit delinquency problems, even severe violent crimes, compared to their older sibling. The reasons are not to be found in parents who invest less in second-born children’s education. The differences are in parental attention as a potential contributing factor to the gaps in delinquency across the birth order. Second-born children tend to have less maternal attention than do their older siblings because first-born children experience their mother’s maternity leaves and temporarily reduced labor market participation both following their own births as well as following the birth of the second-born. Therefore, in addition to the fact that first-borns experience undivided attention until the arrival of the second-born, the researchers discovered that the arrival of the second-born child has the potential to extend the early-childhood parental investment in the first-born child.
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