Obesity-related behaviors in adolescent friendship networks

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

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    134 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study examines obesity-related behaviors within adolescent friendship networks, because adolescent peers have been identified as being important determinants of many health behaviors. We applied ERGM selection models for single network observations to determine if close adolescent friends engage in similar behaviors and to explore associations between behavior and popularity. Same-sex friends were found to be similar on measures of organized physical activity in two out of three school-based friendship networks. Female friends were found to engage in similar screen-based behaviors, and male friends tended to be similar in their consumption of high-calorie foods. Popularity (receiving ties) was also associated with some behaviors, although these effects were gender specific and differed across networks.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-167
    Number of pages7
    JournalSocial Networks
    Volume32
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

    Keywords

    • Adolescents
    • Exponential random graph models
    • Health behavior
    • Obesity
    • Social networks

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