Adolescents' intake of junk food: Processes and mechanisms driving consumption similarities among friends

Kayla de la Haye, Garry Robins, Philip Mohr, Carlene Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    42 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Adolescents' consumption of low-nutrient, energy-dense (LNED) food often occurs out of home, and friends may be an important source of influence. This study tested whether observed similarities in LNED food intake among friends result from social influence and also explored underlying psychological mechanisms. Three waves of data were collected over 1 year from Grade 8 students in Australia (N = 378, 54% male), including measures of food intake and related cognitions, and friendships to grademates. The results of longitudinal social network models show that adolescent intake was predicted by their friends' intake, accounting for pre-existing similarities and other potentially confounding factors. Changes to adolescents' beliefs about LNED food do not appear to be the mechanisms underpinning influence from their friends.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)524-536
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
    Volume23
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

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