Title

Adolescent Caretaking of Younger Siblings

Keywords

Adolescence, Child care, Family interaction, Family process, Sibling relations

Abstract

Sibling interactions play important roles in socialization; however, little is known about sibling caretaking in contemporary families. This study examined the prevalence of adolescents providing care for younger siblings and the quality of care as associated with a broad spectrum of individual, microsystem, and macrosystem factors. Relying on nationally representative time diary data from the American Time Use Survey, we found that factors at multiple levels (individual, microsystem, and macrosystem) were associated with sibling caretaking. Gendered patterns in caretaking emerged. The caretaker’s sex and the ages and sexes of younger siblings correlated with the incidence and quality of sibling care. Boys more often cared for younger brothers, and girls more often cared for younger sisters. In addition, boys more often played with younger siblings while girls more often provided physical care and talked with younger siblings, mirroring gendered patterns seen in parents.

Original Publication Citation

Wikle, J., Jensen, A. C., & *Hoagland, A. (2017). Adolescent caretaking of younger siblings. Social Science Research. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2017.12.007

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2018-3

Publisher

Social Science Research

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

Share

COinS