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US adolescents' friendship networks and health risk behaviors: a systematic review of studies using social network analysis and Add Health data.

Jeon KC, Goodson P - PeerJ (2015)

Bottom Line: Review findings also can help health educators and promoters develop more effective programs.Objective.Better understanding of risky behaviors influenced by friends can be useful for health educators and promoters, as programs targeting friendships might be more effective.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University , College Station, TX , USA.

ABSTRACT
Background. Documented trends in health-related risk behaviors among US adolescents have remained high over time. Studies indicate relationships among mutual friends are a major influence on adolescents' risky behaviors. Social Network Analysis (SNA) can help understand friendship ties affecting individual adolescents' engagement in these behaviors. Moreover, a systematic literature review can synthesize findings from a range of studies using SNA, as well as assess these studies' methodological quality. Review findings also can help health educators and promoters develop more effective programs. Objective. This review systematically examined studies of the influence of friendship networks on adolescents' risk behaviors, which utilized SNA and the Add Health data (a nationally representative sample). Methods. We employed the Matrix Method to synthesize and evaluate 15 published studies that met our inclusion and exclusion criteria, retrieved from the Add Health website and 3 major databases (Medline, Eric, and PsycINFO). Moreover, we assigned each study a methodological quality score (MQS). Results. In all studies, friendship networks among adolescents promoted their risky behaviors, including drinking alcohol, smoking, sexual intercourse, and marijuana use. The average MQS was 4.6, an indicator of methodological rigor (scale: 1-9). Conclusion. Better understanding of risky behaviors influenced by friends can be useful for health educators and promoters, as programs targeting friendships might be more effective. Additionally, the overall MQ of these reviewed studies was good, as average scores fell above the scale's mid-point.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Diagrams of the three types of friendships examined by Fujimoto & Valente (2012a).(A) Mutual/Reciprocated friendships. (B) Directional friendships: ∗Outdegree is the number of friendship ties that the ego who is a focal point within a network “sends” & ∗Indegree is the number of friendship ties that the ego “receives” (Hall & Valente, 2007). (C) Intimate friendships: ∗B was nominated as best or close friends by A; C–F were nominated as friends, but not best or close friends.
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fig-2: Diagrams of the three types of friendships examined by Fujimoto & Valente (2012a).(A) Mutual/Reciprocated friendships. (B) Directional friendships: ∗Outdegree is the number of friendship ties that the ego who is a focal point within a network “sends” & ∗Indegree is the number of friendship ties that the ego “receives” (Hall & Valente, 2007). (C) Intimate friendships: ∗B was nominated as best or close friends by A; C–F were nominated as friends, but not best or close friends.

Mentions: As mentioned previously, eight reviewed studies investigated the relationship between drinking alcohol and friendship networks (drinking frequency and amount of drinking). For instance, the study conducted by Fujimoto & Valente (2012a) examined how various friendship types influenced adolescents’ substance use, including drinking (frequency). Authors classified three types of friendships: mutual friendships, directional friendships, and intimate friendships (see Fig. 2 for diagrams of the three types of friendships examined by Fujimoto & Valente, 2012a). A mutual friendship was defined as reciprocated friends (knowing each other as friends). A directional friendship was defined as an unreciprocated nomination that originated either from an ego or from an alter (i.e., ego-nominating friend and alter-nominating friend). An intimate friendship was defined as closest or best friends who were being first nominated (Fig. 2). These three friendship types were based on friendship nominations that students were asked to make as they nominated five best male friends and five best female friends from the Add Health data.


US adolescents' friendship networks and health risk behaviors: a systematic review of studies using social network analysis and Add Health data.

Jeon KC, Goodson P - PeerJ (2015)

Diagrams of the three types of friendships examined by Fujimoto & Valente (2012a).(A) Mutual/Reciprocated friendships. (B) Directional friendships: ∗Outdegree is the number of friendship ties that the ego who is a focal point within a network “sends” & ∗Indegree is the number of friendship ties that the ego “receives” (Hall & Valente, 2007). (C) Intimate friendships: ∗B was nominated as best or close friends by A; C–F were nominated as friends, but not best or close friends.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493707&req=5

fig-2: Diagrams of the three types of friendships examined by Fujimoto & Valente (2012a).(A) Mutual/Reciprocated friendships. (B) Directional friendships: ∗Outdegree is the number of friendship ties that the ego who is a focal point within a network “sends” & ∗Indegree is the number of friendship ties that the ego “receives” (Hall & Valente, 2007). (C) Intimate friendships: ∗B was nominated as best or close friends by A; C–F were nominated as friends, but not best or close friends.
Mentions: As mentioned previously, eight reviewed studies investigated the relationship between drinking alcohol and friendship networks (drinking frequency and amount of drinking). For instance, the study conducted by Fujimoto & Valente (2012a) examined how various friendship types influenced adolescents’ substance use, including drinking (frequency). Authors classified three types of friendships: mutual friendships, directional friendships, and intimate friendships (see Fig. 2 for diagrams of the three types of friendships examined by Fujimoto & Valente, 2012a). A mutual friendship was defined as reciprocated friends (knowing each other as friends). A directional friendship was defined as an unreciprocated nomination that originated either from an ego or from an alter (i.e., ego-nominating friend and alter-nominating friend). An intimate friendship was defined as closest or best friends who were being first nominated (Fig. 2). These three friendship types were based on friendship nominations that students were asked to make as they nominated five best male friends and five best female friends from the Add Health data.

Bottom Line: Review findings also can help health educators and promoters develop more effective programs.Objective.Better understanding of risky behaviors influenced by friends can be useful for health educators and promoters, as programs targeting friendships might be more effective.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University , College Station, TX , USA.

ABSTRACT
Background. Documented trends in health-related risk behaviors among US adolescents have remained high over time. Studies indicate relationships among mutual friends are a major influence on adolescents' risky behaviors. Social Network Analysis (SNA) can help understand friendship ties affecting individual adolescents' engagement in these behaviors. Moreover, a systematic literature review can synthesize findings from a range of studies using SNA, as well as assess these studies' methodological quality. Review findings also can help health educators and promoters develop more effective programs. Objective. This review systematically examined studies of the influence of friendship networks on adolescents' risk behaviors, which utilized SNA and the Add Health data (a nationally representative sample). Methods. We employed the Matrix Method to synthesize and evaluate 15 published studies that met our inclusion and exclusion criteria, retrieved from the Add Health website and 3 major databases (Medline, Eric, and PsycINFO). Moreover, we assigned each study a methodological quality score (MQS). Results. In all studies, friendship networks among adolescents promoted their risky behaviors, including drinking alcohol, smoking, sexual intercourse, and marijuana use. The average MQS was 4.6, an indicator of methodological rigor (scale: 1-9). Conclusion. Better understanding of risky behaviors influenced by friends can be useful for health educators and promoters, as programs targeting friendships might be more effective. Additionally, the overall MQ of these reviewed studies was good, as average scores fell above the scale's mid-point.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus