The Effects of Siblings, Parental Socioeconomic Status, Adolescent Aptitude, Educational Attainment, and Wealth on Health in Later Life

Toni Falbo, University of Texas at Austin
Sung Hun Kim, University of Texas at Austin
Kuan-yi Chen, University of Texas at Austin

Little is known about the influence of siblings on the health of older adults. The present study created and tested a series of models with data from a sample (N = 3,968) of high school graduates from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. Using SEM, the study aimed to determine if sibling effects on health in later life could be found and whether these effects were direct or indirect, mediated by the adult’s own educational attainment and wealth. Direct sibling effects on health were not found and when the structural paths from parental socioeconomic status and adolescent aptitude to educational attainment were added to the model, indirect sibling effects on health became non-significant. Although the final model was cross-validated, structural invariance between men and women was not found. The results suggest that sibling effects should be regarded within the complex context of socioeconomic effects on health.

  See paper

Presented in Session 62: Sibling Effects Across the Life Course