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Same-Sex Friendship, School Gender Composition, and Substance Use: A Social Network Study of 50 European Schools.
Subst Use Misuse. 2018 05 12; 53(6):998-1007.SU

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Other-sex friendship (girls with boy friends, boys with girl friends) has been associated with substance use, but how the gender composition of schools influences substance use has not been known.

OBJECTIVES

We analyzed the influence of other-sex friendship on substance use and took into account the proportion of each gender group at the schools, and hypothesized that other-sex friendship is associated with higher levels of substance use and that schools with a majority of males have higher levels of use than female-majority schools.

METHODS

In 2013, a social network survey was carried out in six European cities. In each city, schools were selected and 11,015 adolescents (aged 14-16) were recruited (participation rate = 79.4%). We collected data on smoking, binge drinking, cannabis use, and peer group composition.

RESULTS

Other-sex friendship was associated with smoking, binge drinking, and cannabis use for girls and with smoking for boys. Substance use was more frequent in schools with a majority of males. Conclusions/Importance: Adolescent girls are best protected from substance use if they are in gender-balanced schools, but in same-sex friendship. This offers new perspectives on gender mixing at school. In schools with a majority of boys, more attention should be paid to girls, and gender-specific health promotion programs should be implemented. This European study is the first to take into account both individual (other-sex friendship) and contextual (gender composition of schools) gender interactions. It confirms previous studies on other-sex friendship, while shedding light on the influence of gender-normative contexts on substance use.

Authors+Show Affiliations

a Institute of Health and Society , Université Catholique de Louvain , Brussels , Belgium.b Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Center (AMC) , University of Amsterdam , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.b Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Center (AMC) , University of Amsterdam , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.c Institute of Medical Sociology (IMS), Medical Faculty , Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg , Halle (Saale) , Germany.d School of Health Sciences , University of Tampere , Kalevantie, Tampere , Finland.e Department of Human Sciences, Society and Health , University of Cassino and Southern Lazio , Cassino , Italy.a Institute of Health and Society , Université Catholique de Louvain , Brussels , Belgium.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29190174

Citation

Grard, Adeline, et al. "Same-Sex Friendship, School Gender Composition, and Substance Use: a Social Network Study of 50 European Schools." Substance Use & Misuse, vol. 53, no. 6, 2018, pp. 998-1007.
Grard A, Kunst A, Kuipers M, et al. Same-Sex Friendship, School Gender Composition, and Substance Use: A Social Network Study of 50 European Schools. Subst Use Misuse. 2018;53(6):998-1007.
Grard, A., Kunst, A., Kuipers, M., Richter, M., Rimpela, A., Federico, B., & Lorant, V. (2018). Same-Sex Friendship, School Gender Composition, and Substance Use: A Social Network Study of 50 European Schools. Substance Use & Misuse, 53(6), 998-1007. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2017.1392976
Grard A, et al. Same-Sex Friendship, School Gender Composition, and Substance Use: a Social Network Study of 50 European Schools. Subst Use Misuse. 2018 05 12;53(6):998-1007. PubMed PMID: 29190174.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Same-Sex Friendship, School Gender Composition, and Substance Use: A Social Network Study of 50 European Schools. AU - Grard,Adeline, AU - Kunst,Anton, AU - Kuipers,Mirte, AU - Richter,Matthias, AU - Rimpela,Arja, AU - Federico,Bruno, AU - Lorant,Vincent, Y1 - 2017/11/30/ PY - 2017/12/1/pubmed PY - 2018/11/23/medline PY - 2017/12/1/entrez KW - Other-sex friendship KW - adolescents KW - alcohol KW - binge drinking KW - cannabis KW - gender KW - high school KW - same-sex friendship KW - substance use KW - tobacco SP - 998 EP - 1007 JF - Substance use & misuse JO - Subst Use Misuse VL - 53 IS - 6 N2 - BACKGROUND: Other-sex friendship (girls with boy friends, boys with girl friends) has been associated with substance use, but how the gender composition of schools influences substance use has not been known. OBJECTIVES: We analyzed the influence of other-sex friendship on substance use and took into account the proportion of each gender group at the schools, and hypothesized that other-sex friendship is associated with higher levels of substance use and that schools with a majority of males have higher levels of use than female-majority schools. METHODS: In 2013, a social network survey was carried out in six European cities. In each city, schools were selected and 11,015 adolescents (aged 14-16) were recruited (participation rate = 79.4%). We collected data on smoking, binge drinking, cannabis use, and peer group composition. RESULTS: Other-sex friendship was associated with smoking, binge drinking, and cannabis use for girls and with smoking for boys. Substance use was more frequent in schools with a majority of males. Conclusions/Importance: Adolescent girls are best protected from substance use if they are in gender-balanced schools, but in same-sex friendship. This offers new perspectives on gender mixing at school. In schools with a majority of boys, more attention should be paid to girls, and gender-specific health promotion programs should be implemented. This European study is the first to take into account both individual (other-sex friendship) and contextual (gender composition of schools) gender interactions. It confirms previous studies on other-sex friendship, while shedding light on the influence of gender-normative contexts on substance use. SN - 1532-2491 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29190174/Same_Sex_Friendship_School_Gender_Composition_and_Substance_Use:_A_Social_Network_Study_of_50_European_Schools_ L2 - http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10826084.2017.1392976 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -