My older sibling was drunk – Younger siblings' drunkenness in relation to parental monitoring and the parent–adolescent relationship Academic Article uri icon


  • This study explored the links between having older siblings who get drunk, satisfaction with the parent-adolescent relationship, parental monitoring, and adolescents' risky drinking. Regression models were conducted based on a national representative sample of 3725 8th to 10th graders in Switzerland (mean age 15.0, SD = .93) who indicated having older siblings. Results showed that both parental factors and older siblings' drinking behaviour shape younger siblings' frequency of risky drinking. Parental monitoring showed a linear dose-response relationship, and siblings' influence had an additive effect. There was a non-linear interaction effect between parent-adolescent relationship and older sibling's drunkenness. The findings suggest that, apart from avoiding an increasingly unsatisfactory relationship with their children, parental monitoring appears to be important in preventing risky drinking by their younger children, even if the older sibling drinks in such a way. However, a satisfying relationship with parents does not seem to be sufficient to counterbalance older siblings' influence.

publication date

  • October 2010