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Network-behavior dynamics of adolescent friendships, alcohol use, and physical activity.
Health Psychol. 2017 06; 36(6):577-586.HP

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The coevolution of adolescent social networks, alcohol use, and physical activity is studied. Previous research has independently evaluated each behavior, overlooking the potential power of examining their development within a shared social context. The current study extends previous research by examining the dynamics of friendship networks, alcohol use, and physical activity in conjunction, including the concurrent engagement in both behaviors, with a nationally representative sample of U.S. adolescents. Special attention is paid to differing patterns of peer selection and peer assimilation across behaviors.

METHOD

Data come from 2 high schools (n = 640; n = 1,156) within the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Longitudinal stochastic actor-based models were used to separate peer selection and assimilation processes to differentiate the mechanisms linking friendships and both behaviors as well as the relationship between alcohol use and physical activity.

RESULTS

Findings suggest distinct differences in the importance of peer selection and assimilation processes to adolescent alcohol use and physical activity. In both schools, adolescents selected friends based on similarity in alcohol use, but no selection effect was found for physical activity. Conversely, assimilation to friends' behavior occurred for physical activity, yet evidence for alcohol assimilation was mixed. No significant relationship between alcohol use and physical activity emerged.

CONCLUSIONS

Intervention efforts that focus on friend influence in changing health behavior may have particular success with adolescent physical activity. Programs aimed at alcohol use would benefit from including an emphasis on preventing negative friend formations. (PsycINFO Database Record

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology.Department of Psychology.Department of Psychology.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28277703

Citation

Long, Emily, et al. "Network-behavior Dynamics of Adolescent Friendships, Alcohol Use, and Physical Activity." Health Psychology : Official Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, vol. 36, no. 6, 2017, pp. 577-586.
Long E, Barrett TS, Lockhart G. Network-behavior dynamics of adolescent friendships, alcohol use, and physical activity. Health Psychol. 2017;36(6):577-586.
Long, E., Barrett, T. S., & Lockhart, G. (2017). Network-behavior dynamics of adolescent friendships, alcohol use, and physical activity. Health Psychology : Official Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 36(6), 577-586. https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000483
Long E, Barrett TS, Lockhart G. Network-behavior Dynamics of Adolescent Friendships, Alcohol Use, and Physical Activity. Health Psychol. 2017;36(6):577-586. PubMed PMID: 28277703.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Network-behavior dynamics of adolescent friendships, alcohol use, and physical activity. AU - Long,Emily, AU - Barrett,Tyson S, AU - Lockhart,Ginger, Y1 - 2017/03/09/ PY - 2017/3/10/pubmed PY - 2017/12/6/medline PY - 2017/3/10/entrez SP - 577 EP - 586 JF - Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association JO - Health Psychol VL - 36 IS - 6 N2 - OBJECTIVE: The coevolution of adolescent social networks, alcohol use, and physical activity is studied. Previous research has independently evaluated each behavior, overlooking the potential power of examining their development within a shared social context. The current study extends previous research by examining the dynamics of friendship networks, alcohol use, and physical activity in conjunction, including the concurrent engagement in both behaviors, with a nationally representative sample of U.S. adolescents. Special attention is paid to differing patterns of peer selection and peer assimilation across behaviors. METHOD: Data come from 2 high schools (n = 640; n = 1,156) within the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Longitudinal stochastic actor-based models were used to separate peer selection and assimilation processes to differentiate the mechanisms linking friendships and both behaviors as well as the relationship between alcohol use and physical activity. RESULTS: Findings suggest distinct differences in the importance of peer selection and assimilation processes to adolescent alcohol use and physical activity. In both schools, adolescents selected friends based on similarity in alcohol use, but no selection effect was found for physical activity. Conversely, assimilation to friends' behavior occurred for physical activity, yet evidence for alcohol assimilation was mixed. No significant relationship between alcohol use and physical activity emerged. CONCLUSIONS: Intervention efforts that focus on friend influence in changing health behavior may have particular success with adolescent physical activity. Programs aimed at alcohol use would benefit from including an emphasis on preventing negative friend formations. (PsycINFO Database Record SN - 1930-7810 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28277703/Network_behavior_dynamics_of_adolescent_friendships_alcohol_use_and_physical_activity_ L2 - http://content.apa.org/journals/hea/36/6/577 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -