Am I My Brother's Keeper: Adult Siblings Raising Younger Siblings

Ramona W. Denby, Jessica Ayala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Adult siblings raising their younger siblings is a family configuration that rarely comes to mind; yet, in the United States adult siblings are the third largest relative caregiver group. The experiences of a sample of 77 adult siblings raising 154 younger siblings are described. The findings revealed that adult sibling caregivers may have multiple unmet service needs but they have a relatively high degree of parenting ability, which is increased by the availability of religious-based services, availability of friends and neighbors, and the ability to network with other caregivers. Additionally, adult siblings who are parenting a younger sibling who has special needs are more likely to commit to adopting that sibling. Social work practice strategies that can be used to address the service needs of adult sibling caregivers are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-210
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Caregiving
  • kinship care
  • parenting
  • permanency
  • siblings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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