Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 957–978

Older siblings and adolescent risky behavior: does parenting play a role?

  • Susan L. Averett
  • Laura M. Argys
  • Daniel I. Rees
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00148-009-0276-1

Cite this article as:
Averett, S.L., Argys, L.M. & Rees, D.I. J Popul Econ (2011) 24: 957. doi:10.1007/s00148-009-0276-1


Children with older siblings are more likely to engage in risky behavior than their firstborn counterparts. Although the relationship between birth order and risky behavior may reflect the influence of older siblings, it is also possible that parents supervise later-born children less than firstborns. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine whether the association between birth order and risky adolescent behavior is driven by differences in the level of parental supervision. Firstborns are supervised more than their later-born siblings, but this difference does not explain the relationship between having an older sibling and risky behavior.


AdolescentsParental supervisionRisky behavior

JEL Classification


Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan L. Averett
    • 1
  • Laura M. Argys
    • 2
  • Daniel I. Rees
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsLafayette CollegeEastonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Colorado-DenverDenverUSA