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.
- Exponential random graph models
- Health behavior
- Social networks