University of Washington Sociologist Dr. Abby Fagan found that children who have older brothers or sisters who smoke and drink are three to five times more likely to use tobacco and alcohol, because siblings are a more powerful role model than friends or parents.
- 10 percent of younger siblings with non-smoking older siblings used tobacco, compared to 40 percent of those whose older siblings smoked.
- Younger sibling alcohol use increased from 25 to 53 percent when older brothers and sisters reported drinking.
If siblings are more powerful role models than parents, than siblings and their potential influences on each other should be a primary focus of intervention. The influence of siblings highlights the value of residential placement and the removal of the influential teen from the home.
If your older teen is a negative influence in the home and more of an influence of siblings than you originally thought, give us a call and let us help.