Volume 37 - Article 49 | Pages 1611–1624
Siblings and children's time use in the United States
|Date received:||29 Mar 2017|
|Date published:||28 Nov 2017|
|Keywords:||family demography, siblings, time use, United States of America|
Background: Eighty-two percent of children under age 18 live with at least one sibling, and the sibling relationship is typically the longest-lasting family relationship in an individual's life. Nevertheless, siblings remain understudied in the family demography literature.
Objective: We ask how having a sibling structures children's time spent with others and in specific activities, and how children’s time and activities with siblings vary by social class, gender, and age.
Methods: We use time diary data from the US Panel Study of Income Dynamics' Child Development Supplement (PSID-CDS), comparing the time use of children with and without siblings and presenting regression-adjusted descriptive statistics on patterns among those with siblings.
Results: Children with siblings spend about half of their discretionary time engaged with siblings. They spend less time alone with parents and more time in unstructured play than those without siblings. Brothers and more closely spaced siblings spend more time together and more time in unstructured play. For example, boys with at least one brother spend five more hours per week with their siblings and over three more hours per week in unstructured play than boys with no brothers.
Conclusions: The presence and characteristics of siblings shape children's time use in ways that may have implications for child development.
Contribution: This is the first study to use children's time diary data to examine how the presence and characteristics of siblings structure ways in which children spend their time. This contributes to our broader understanding of sibling relationships and family dynamics.
Rachel Dunifon - Cornell University, United States of America
Paula Fomby - University of Michigan, United States of America
Kelly Musick - Cornell University, United States of America
Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research
Young women's joint relationship, sex, and contraceptive trajectories: Evidence from the United States
Volume 42 - Article 34
The magnitude and timing of grandparental coresidence during childhood in the United States
Volume 37 - Article 52
Cohabitation, nonmarital childbearing, and the marriage process
Volume 16 - Article 9
Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research
Female sterilization in the life course: Understanding trends and differentials in early sterilization
Volume 47 - Article 18 | Keywords: United States of America
Berkeley Unified Numident Mortality Database: Public administrative records for individual-level mortality research
Volume 47 - Article 5 | Keywords: United States of America
Measuring US fertility using administrative data from the Census Bureau
Volume 47 - Article 2 | Keywords: United States of America
Race, class, and marriage: Components of race differences in men’s first marriage rates, United States, 1960–2019
Volume 46 - Article 39 | Keywords: United States of America
Increases in shared custody after divorce in the United States
Volume 46 - Article 38 | Keywords: United States of America
Cited References: 21
»View the references of this article
Download to Citation Manager