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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 cohesion and structural equivalence in a network.(A) Cohesion: ∗C has a direct tie with A and is influenced by A. The relationships between A–B and A–D are not cohesive, because the ties are indirect and there is no exchange of influence. (B) Structural equivalence: ∗B–C and C–D are structurally equivalent ties, because the individuals occupy the same position in the network.
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fig-3: Diagrams of cohesion and structural equivalence in a network.(A) Cohesion: ∗C has a direct tie with A and is influenced by A. The relationships between A–B and A–D are not cohesive, because the ties are indirect and there is no exchange of influence. (B) Structural equivalence: ∗B–C and C–D are structurally equivalent ties, because the individuals occupy the same position in the network.

Mentions: In another study, Fujimoto & Valente (2012b) investigated the influence of peer networks on adolescent’s substance use (smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol), based on contagion mechanisms, in terms of cohesion and structural equivalence. Cohesion referred to relationships within a network, for which there are direct ties or exchange of influence. Structural equivalence referred to relationships among adolescents who occupy similar positions as others within friendship networks (see Fig. 3 for diagrams of cohesion and structural equivalence in a network). Authors defined peers as those who were nominated by friends. In their analysis, they utilized a network exposure model to assess both cohesion and structural equivalence measuring peers’ risk taking in terms of social distances (at four steps away from other adolescents—friends of friends of friends of friends). The results indicated “the odds ratios for cohesion exposures to smoking were statistically significant up to distance two (but not significant for distances greater than two) with the highest magnitude at distance one (OR = 1.50; p < 0.001), followed by distance two (OR = 1.40; p < 0.001)” (p. 1957).


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 cohesion and structural equivalence in a network.(A) Cohesion: ∗C has a direct tie with A and is influenced by A. The relationships between A–B and A–D are not cohesive, because the ties are indirect and there is no exchange of influence. (B) Structural equivalence: ∗B–C and C–D are structurally equivalent ties, because the individuals occupy the same position in the network.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

fig-3: Diagrams of cohesion and structural equivalence in a network.(A) Cohesion: ∗C has a direct tie with A and is influenced by A. The relationships between A–B and A–D are not cohesive, because the ties are indirect and there is no exchange of influence. (B) Structural equivalence: ∗B–C and C–D are structurally equivalent ties, because the individuals occupy the same position in the network.
Mentions: In another study, Fujimoto & Valente (2012b) investigated the influence of peer networks on adolescent’s substance use (smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol), based on contagion mechanisms, in terms of cohesion and structural equivalence. Cohesion referred to relationships within a network, for which there are direct ties or exchange of influence. Structural equivalence referred to relationships among adolescents who occupy similar positions as others within friendship networks (see Fig. 3 for diagrams of cohesion and structural equivalence in a network). Authors defined peers as those who were nominated by friends. In their analysis, they utilized a network exposure model to assess both cohesion and structural equivalence measuring peers’ risk taking in terms of social distances (at four steps away from other adolescents—friends of friends of friends of friends). The results indicated “the odds ratios for cohesion exposures to smoking were statistically significant up to distance two (but not significant for distances greater than two) with the highest magnitude at distance one (OR = 1.50; p < 0.001), followed by distance two (OR = 1.40; p < 0.001)” (p. 1957).

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