ERIC Number: EJ1019652
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
Social Networks and Smoking: Exploring the Effects of Peer Influence and Smoker Popularity through Simulations
Schaefer, David R.; adams, jimi; Haas, Steven A.
Health Education & Behavior, v40 n1 suppl p24S-32S Oct 2013
Adolescent smoking and friendship networks are related in many ways that can amplify smoking prevalence. Understanding and developing interventions within such a complex system requires new analytic approaches. We draw on recent advances in dynamic network modeling to develop a technique that explores the implications of various intervention strategies targeted toward micro-level processes. Our approach begins by estimating a stochastic actor-based model using data from one school in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The model provides estimates of several factors predicting friendship ties and smoking behavior. We then use estimated model parameters to simulate the coevolution of friendship and smoking behavior under potential intervention scenarios. Namely, we manipulate the strength of peer influence on smoking and the popularity of smokers relative to nonsmokers. We measure how these manipulations affect smoking prevalence, smoking initiation, and smoking cessation. Results indicate that both peer influence and smoking-based popularity affect smoking behavior and that their joint effects are nonlinear. This study demonstrates how a simulation-based approach can be used to explore alternative scenarios that may be achievable through intervention efforts and offers new hypotheses about the association between friendship and smoking.
Descriptors: Smoking, Adolescents, Social Networks, Peer Influence, Social Status, Simulation, Friendship, Intervention, Comparative Analysis, Network Analysis, Incidence, Hypothesis Testing, Goodness of Fit
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health