The younger siblings of childbearing adolescents: parenting influences on their academic and social-emotional adjustment

J Youth Adolesc. 2012 Oct;41(10):1280-93. doi: 10.1007/s10964-011-9715-x. Epub 2011 Oct 1.


The younger siblings of childbearing adolescents have poorer school outcomes and exhibit more internalizing and externalizing problems compared to their peers without a childbearing sister. We test a model where living with an adolescent childbearing sister constitutes a major family stressor that disrupts mothers' parenting and well-being, and through which, adversely affect youths' adjustment. Data came from 243 Latino younger siblings (62% female, M age 13.7 years) and their mothers, 121 of whom lived with a childbearing adolescent sister and 122 of whom did not. Individual fixed-effects models controlled for earlier measures of each respective model construct, thereby reducing omitted variable bias from pre-existing group differences. Results show that, for boys, the relationship between living with a childbearing adolescent sister and youth outcomes was sequentially mediated through mothers' stress and parenting (i.e., monitoring and nurturance). For girls, however, the relationship was mediated through mothers' monitoring only. Findings elucidate the within-family processes that contribute to the problematic outcomes of youth living with childbearing adolescent older sisters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / ethnology
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / psychology*
  • Sibling Relations / ethnology*
  • Siblings / ethnology
  • Siblings / psychology*
  • United States / epidemiology