A Dynamic Model of Adolescent Friendship Networks, Parental Influences, and Smoking

  • Lakon C
  • Wang C
  • Butts C
 et al. 
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Peer and parental influences are critical socializing forces shaping adolescent development, including the co-evolving processes of friendship tie choice and adolescent smoking. This study examines aspects of adolescent friendship networks and dimensions of parental influences shaping friendship tie choice and smoking, including parental support, parental monitoring, and the parental home smoking environment using a Stochastic Actor-Based model. With data from three waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health of youth in grades 7 through 12, including the In-School Survey, the first wave of the In-Home survey occurring 6 months later, and the second wave of the In-Home survey, occurring one year later, this study utilizes two samples based on the social network data collected in the longitudinal saturated sample of sixteen schools. One consists of twelve small schools (n = 1,284, 50.93 % female), and the other of one large school (n = 976, 48.46 % female). The findings indicated that reciprocity, choosing a friend of a friend as a friend, and smoking similarity increased friendship tie choice behavior, as did parental support. Parental monitoring interacted with choosing friends who smoke in affecting friendship tie choice, as at higher levels of parental monitoring, youth chose fewer friends that smoked. A parental home smoking context conducive to smoking decreased the number of friends adolescents chose. Peer influence and a parental home smoking environment conducive to smoking increased smoking, while parental monitoring decreased it in the large school. Overall, peer and parental factors affected the coevolution of friendship tie choice and smoking, directly and multiplicatively.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Friendship
  • Parental monitoring
  • Peer influence
  • Smoking
  • Social networks
  • Stochastic Actor-Based models

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  • Cynthia M. Lakon

  • Cheng Wang

  • Carter T. Butts

  • Rupa Jose

  • David S. Timberlake

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