Adolescent friendships, BMI, and physical activity

Untangling selection and influence through longitudinal social network analysis

Sandra D. Simpkins, David R. Schaefer, Chara D. Price, Andrea E. Vest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bioecological theory suggests that adolescents' health is a result of selection and socialization processes occurring between adolescents and their microsettings. This study examines the association between adolescents' friends and health using a social network model and data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 1,896, mean age = 15.97 years). Results indicated evidence of friend influence on BMI and physical activity. Friendships were more likely among adolescents who engaged in greater physical activity and who were similar to one another in BMI and physical activity. These effects emerged after controlling for alternative friend selection factors, such as endogenous social network processes and propinquity through courses and activities. Some selection effects were moderated by gender, popularity, and reciprocity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-549
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

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network analysis
Social Support
friendship
social network
Exercise
adolescent
National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health
health
Socialization
reciprocity
socialization
popularity
longitudinal study
gender
evidence
Adolescent Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cultural Studies

Cite this

Adolescent friendships, BMI, and physical activity : Untangling selection and influence through longitudinal social network analysis. / Simpkins, Sandra D.; Schaefer, David R.; Price, Chara D.; Vest, Andrea E.

In: Journal of Research on Adolescence, Vol. 23, No. 3, 09.2013, p. 537-549.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Simpkins, Sandra D. ; Schaefer, David R. ; Price, Chara D. ; Vest, Andrea E. / Adolescent friendships, BMI, and physical activity : Untangling selection and influence through longitudinal social network analysis. In: Journal of Research on Adolescence. 2013 ; Vol. 23, No. 3. pp. 537-549.
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