The Effects of Having a Disabled Sibling during Childhood on Young Adults’ Educational Attainment

Anna Penner, University of California, Riverside

This paper utilizes secondary data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Children and Young Adults (CNLSY) to examine educational attainment among young adults who had a disabled sibling during childhood by measuring high school completion and number of years of education achieved. I also examine the gender differences in these outcomes. This study builds on previous research regarding disability effects and offers an additional view on sibling effects in general. I find that on average, respondents who had a disabled sibling complete half a year less schooling and have substantially lower odds of graduating from high school than their peers who did not have a disabled sibling. The gap in educational attainment is particularly important to consider in light of policies that should be implemented to avoid unnecessary loss in educational attainment, particularly in light of further cuts that may be made in this time of financial austerity.

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Presented in Poster Session 4