Is there an effect of birth order on personality? Recent research seems to think so, and also, that there is a link between delinquency and birth order, particularly if your second child is a boy! In other words, science suggests your second child might be your biggest challenge yet!
Effect of Birth Order on Personality: A Study of ‘The Second Child’
After having the first one you think, that wasn’t so bad.
Maybe time to get the baby factory working again! And before you know it, number two pops out.
As time flies by, perhaps you’ve noticed a stark difference in personality between your first and second born?
Well, according to a recent study on birth order and delinquency, if your second born is driving you a little more nuts, there’s an explanation to it. Even more so, apparently, if it is a boy.
The study observed that second borns are more likely to develop behavioural issues and even cause trouble in school.
In addition, head researcher Joseph Doyle shares, “second-born boys are… 20% to 40% more likely to be disciplined in school and enter the criminal justice system compared to first-born boys, even when we compare [them with] siblings.”
What could the possible reasons be for such differences between the first and second child?
Researchers explain, parental attention may be the cause: “We consider differences in parental attention as a potential contributing factor to the gaps in delinquency across the birth order.”
Just another day in the parental guilt field it seems. But maybe now, we’re better equipped to pay closer attention to our relationships with our kiddos.
To all second child parents out there, we advise rolling up your sleeves.
What to Expect: Effect of Birth Order on Personality of Second Born
It turns out, MIT researcher Joseph Doyle was not alone in his interest of second born children’s behavioural trends.
An earlier research – commissioned by Disney – wanted to determine the long-term effects of being second born. It appears, being second in line will also affect the kind of career choice your child will make.
Yes, you read that right. We can add birth order to the list of influences on a child; aside from education, parental and environmental factors.
Led by psychologist Emma Kenny, the research yielded results that pointed to birth order having “tangible and marked” effects on career decisions over time.
In essence, here’s what the study observes:
- The eldest children present characteristics that lean towards ambition and logic. These are usually the “brainy” ones that end up in careers in the space exploration, science or engineering field. You should know, the majority of space explorers to date are actually first borns.
- As for the middle of the road child, think big. Being second, your middle child has always had to fight for attention and his “place”. The middle child is perceived to be bossy and perhaps at times, a little feisty. All this makes excellent preparation and make up for the likes of CEO’s and high impact positions.
- Call the youngest the creatively gifted. The last child tends to have a flamboyant personality and usually has no qualms about being the centre of attention. Think artists, entertainers and musicians. You might also notice an adventurous and curious spirit in your last child. For all you know, you’ll end up with an explorer or journalist in the family!
At the end of the day, all that matters is that your children grow up to be healthy and happy.
The rest is just about being as prepared as possible, for better or worse.