social capital, time use, adolescents, siblings, extended family, resource dilution theory, non-resident parents, India


Non-parental family members are understudied but important brokers of family social capital, especially in contexts without a nuclear-family norm. We used rich time diary data from a sample of 1568 South Indian adolescents to examine the relationships between any time spent with parents, parents’ residency status, and the time spent with non-parental family members. We found that adolescents with at least one non-resident parent spent significantly more time with siblings, on average, when compared to adolescents with resident parents. We further found that adolescents spent more time with siblings in educational activities, such as studying, when they had at least one non-resident parent. These findings point to the importance of considering non-parental family members in studies of family social capital, especially in low- and middle-income contexts. Our findings challenge resource dilution theories by demonstrating that siblings themselves act as resources, rather than simply competitors for parental resources.

Original Publication Citation

Alcaraz M, Larsen Gibby A, Luke N. Non-Parental Family Members as Brokers of Family Social Capital: Compensatory Time Use in India. Social Sciences. 2020; 9(12):217.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Social Sciences




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor