The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents
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The Effect of Older Siblings on Adolescent Behavior: Is It Siblings or is it Parents?. Laura Argys Department of Economics University of Colorado at Denver Susan Averett Department of Economics and Business Lafayette College Daniel Rees Department of Economics

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The Effect of Older Siblings on Adolescent Behavior: Is It Siblings or is it Parents?

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The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

The Effect of Older Siblings on Adolescent Behavior: Is It Siblings or is it Parents?

Laura Argys

Department of Economics

University of Colorado at Denver

Susan Averett

Department of Economics and Business

Lafayette College

Daniel Rees

Department of Economics

University of Colorado at Denver


Birth order and parental supervision

Birth Order and Parental Supervision

Price (2005)

Only study to examine parental time and birth order

Uses data from American Time Use Survey

Finds that parents spend 20-30 minutes less per day with later-born children.


Parental supervision and child behaviors

Parental Supervision and Child Behaviors

Parental (Maternal) work and cognitive outcomes in young children

Leibowitz (1977), Blau and Grossberg (1992), Brooks-Gunn, Han and Waldfogel (2002)

Parental supervision and risky behaviors

substance use – Richardson et al. (1993)

behavior problems – Vandall and Ramanan (1991)

substance use, theft, truancy – Aizer (2004)


Research objectives

Research Objectives

To confirm the existence of a birth-order effect on risky behaviors.

To disentangle the effect of:

  • Parents

    • differential supervision of children by birth-order

  • Siblings

    • initiation

    • modeling


The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

Previous Empirical Findings on Economic Outcomes

Birth order and Education

Olneck and Bill, 1979No

Blake, 1981No

Hauser and Sewell, 1983No

Behrman and Taubman, 1986Yes

Birth order and Earnings

Olneck and Bill, 1979No

Behrman and Taubman, 1986No

Kessler, 1991No

Sex Composition

Butcher and Case, 1994Yes

Kaestner, 1997No

Hauser and Kuo, 1998No


The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

Previous Empirical Findings on Other Outcomes

Birth order on age at first intercourse

Rodgers st al., 1992

Older sibling graduation on younger sibling’s graduation

Oettinger, 2000

Older brother characteristics on drug use

Brook et al., 1991

Older sibling sexual behavior on sexual initiation

Widmer, 1997

Haurin and Mott, 1990

Older sibling behavior on substance use

Ouyang, 2004


Model

Eq.(1)

R

*

i

S

i

F

i

X

i

Model

= An individual’s propensity to engage in a particular

risky activity

= A dichotomous variable indicating an older sibling

= A vector ofcontrols for family size

= Other individual and family characteristics


The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

.500**

.484**

.491**

.455**

.435

.426

.400**

.380

.377

.346**

.333

.301

.267**

.226**

.214

.188

Figure 1: Older siblings and substance use and sexual behavior


The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

Figure 2: Older siblings and criminal and delinquent activities


The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

Data

National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health

Over 20,000 adolescents

In grades 7-12 in 1995

Household roster and family structure

Risk-taking activities

Family background

Parental Supervision


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • The existence of an older sibling:

    • Increases the probability of cigarette, alcohol and marijuana use and sexual activity

    • Has no consistent effect on younger siblings delinquent activities

  • Parental Supervision does not explain the older sibling effect:

  • Parental supervision reduces risky behaviors

  • …. But the effect of older siblings remains.


  • The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 1. Sample Means of Child Outcomes, by Gender and the Presence of an Older Sibling


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 2. Sample Means, by Gender and the Presence of an Older Sibling

    Standard deviations are shown in parentheses.


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 2. Sample Means, by Gender and the Presence of an Older Sibling (Continued)

    Standard deviations are shown in parentheses.


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 3a. Determinants of Substance Use and Sexual Activity – Females


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 3a. Determinants of Substance Use and Sexual Activity – Females (Continued)

    Standard errors are shown in parentheses. Statistically significant at the ***99%, **90%, and *90% confidence level.

    Controls also include dichotomous variables identifying missing values for categorical variables.


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 3b. Determinants of Substance Use and Sexual Activity – Males


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 3b. Determinants of Substance Use and Sexual Activity – Males (Continued)

    Standard errors are shown in parentheses. Statistically significant at the ***99%, **90%, and *90% confidence level.

    Controls also include dichotomous variables identifying missing values for categorical variables.


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 4a. Determinants of Delinquent Behaviors – Females


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 4a. Determinants of Delinquent Behaviors – Females (Continued)

    Standard errors are shown in parentheses. Statistically significant at the ***99%, **90%, and *90% confidence level.

    Controls also include dichotomous variables identifying missing values for categorical variables.


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 4b. Determinants of Delinquent Behaviors – Males


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 4b. Determinants of Delinquent Behaviors – Males (Continued)

    Standard errors are shown in parentheses. Statistically significant at the ***99%, **90%, and *90% confidence level.

    Controls also include dichotomous variables identifying missing values for categorical variables.


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 5a. Proportion Reporting Parental Supervision, by Gender, Family Size and the

    Presence of an Older Sibling


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 5a. Proportion Reporting Parental Supervision, by Gender, Family Size and the

    Presence of an Older Sibling: Two Child Family


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 5b. Regressions of Parental Supervision on Family Structure

    Standard errors are shown in parentheses. Statistically significant at the ***99%, **90%, and *90% confidence level.


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 6. Determinants of Substance Use and Sexual Activity, Selected Marginal Probabilities

    Standard errors are shown in parentheses. Statistically significant at the ***99%, **90%, and *90% confidence level.

    Tables control for the same variables that appear in tables 3a. and 3b. Controls also include dichotomous variables identifying missing values for categorical variables.


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 7. Determinants of Delinquent Behaviors, Selected Marginal Probabilities

    Standard errors are shown in parentheses. Statistically significant at the ***99%, **90%, and *90% confidence level.

    Tables control for the same variables that appear in tables 4a. and 4b. Controls also include dichotomous variables identifying missing values for categorical variables.


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 8. Regressions of Parental Supervision on Sibling Gender and Family Structure


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 9a. Effects of Siblings on Substance Use and Sexual Activity, Selected Marginal-

    Probabilities – Females

    Standard errors are shown in parentheses. Statistically significant at the ***99%, **90%, and *90% confidence level.

    Tables control for the same variables that appear in tables 3a. and 3b. Controls also include dichotomous variables identifying missing values for categorical variables.


    The effect of older siblings on adolescent behavior is it siblings or is it parents

    Table 9b. Effects of Siblings on Substance Use and Sexual Activity, Selected Marginal-

    Probabilities – Males

    Standard errors are shown in parentheses. Statistically significant at the ***99%, **90%, and *90% confidence level.

    Tables control for the same variables that appear in tables 3a. and 3b. Controls also include dichotomous variables identifying missing values for categorical variables.


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