Second-Born Kids Are Much More Mischievous Than Their Siblings

And they take it to the extreme.

If you find your second child is a bigger handful than your first, it's because they are.

A new study out of MIT suggests second-born children are more mischievous than their siblings — especially if they're boys.

"I find the results to be remarkable that the second-born children, compared to their older siblings, are much more likely to end up in prison, much more likely to get suspended in school, enter juvenile delinquency," lead researcher Joseph Doyle told NPR.

According to Doyle, this bad behaviour is actually inspired by their older siblings.

"The firstborn has role models, who are adults. And the second, later-born children have role models who are slightly irrational two-year-olds, you know, their older siblings," Doyle notes.

Of course, Doyle isn't suggesting that all second-borns are doomed to a life of crime and chaos but rather that the likelihood of a second child getting into trouble is higher by 25 to 40 per cent.

However, it is true that birth order does play a role in how a child develops. Dr. Kevin Leman, author of The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are tells middle kids tend to be rebellious while last-borns are more manipulative.

But just because a child is supposed to act a certain way doesn't mean they will. Child therapist and author of Birth Order Blues, Meri Wallace, says, "You can consciously make a choice to change."