Behavioral Heterogeneity in Adolescent Friendship Networks

Callie H. Burt, Carter Rees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Criminologists’ understanding of peer influences has been greatly advanced by social network methods; however, relatively scant attention has been paid to improving measurement. In particular, research has continued to measure peer influence by averaging the level of delinquency within a peer network, thereby neglecting the role of behavioral heterogeneity. The present study seeks to advance theory and research into peer influences on delinquency by explicitly modeling behavioral heterogeneity in peer networks measured as the variance. Drawing on social learning and opportunity theories, we argue that behavioral heterogeneity should attenuate the effect of average peer delinquency on individual offending. Models using social network data from the Add Health were estimated predicting involvement in two delinquent substance-use acts (cigarette smoking and getting drunk) as a function of peer influences. The results are consistent with our hypothesis, indicating that behavioral heterogeneity matters. Findings suggest that future research employing network models could incorporate peer behavioral heterogeneity to get a more accurate portrait of the processes of peer influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)872-899
Number of pages28
JournalJustice Quarterly
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 3 2015

Fingerprint

friendship
adolescent
delinquency
Social Support
social network
social opportunity
social learning
Research
smoking
Smoking
Peer Influence
Health
health

Keywords

  • delinquent peers
  • heterogeneity
  • influence
  • measurement
  • social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

Behavioral Heterogeneity in Adolescent Friendship Networks. / Burt, Callie H.; Rees, Carter.

In: Justice Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 5, 03.09.2015, p. 872-899.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Burt, Callie H. ; Rees, Carter. / Behavioral Heterogeneity in Adolescent Friendship Networks. In: Justice Quarterly. 2015 ; Vol. 32, No. 5. pp. 872-899.
@article{5e53fa080b05450fa8659f29ab56c764,
title = "Behavioral Heterogeneity in Adolescent Friendship Networks",
abstract = "Criminologists’ understanding of peer influences has been greatly advanced by social network methods; however, relatively scant attention has been paid to improving measurement. In particular, research has continued to measure peer influence by averaging the level of delinquency within a peer network, thereby neglecting the role of behavioral heterogeneity. The present study seeks to advance theory and research into peer influences on delinquency by explicitly modeling behavioral heterogeneity in peer networks measured as the variance. Drawing on social learning and opportunity theories, we argue that behavioral heterogeneity should attenuate the effect of average peer delinquency on individual offending. Models using social network data from the Add Health were estimated predicting involvement in two delinquent substance-use acts (cigarette smoking and getting drunk) as a function of peer influences. The results are consistent with our hypothesis, indicating that behavioral heterogeneity matters. Findings suggest that future research employing network models could incorporate peer behavioral heterogeneity to get a more accurate portrait of the processes of peer influence.",
keywords = "delinquent peers, heterogeneity, influence, measurement, social networks",
author = "Burt, {Callie H.} and Carter Rees",
year = "2015",
month = "9",
day = "3",
doi = "10.1080/07418825.2013.856932",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "32",
pages = "872--899",
journal = "Justice Quarterly",
issn = "0741-8825",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Behavioral Heterogeneity in Adolescent Friendship Networks

AU - Burt, Callie H.

AU - Rees, Carter

PY - 2015/9/3

Y1 - 2015/9/3

N2 - Criminologists’ understanding of peer influences has been greatly advanced by social network methods; however, relatively scant attention has been paid to improving measurement. In particular, research has continued to measure peer influence by averaging the level of delinquency within a peer network, thereby neglecting the role of behavioral heterogeneity. The present study seeks to advance theory and research into peer influences on delinquency by explicitly modeling behavioral heterogeneity in peer networks measured as the variance. Drawing on social learning and opportunity theories, we argue that behavioral heterogeneity should attenuate the effect of average peer delinquency on individual offending. Models using social network data from the Add Health were estimated predicting involvement in two delinquent substance-use acts (cigarette smoking and getting drunk) as a function of peer influences. The results are consistent with our hypothesis, indicating that behavioral heterogeneity matters. Findings suggest that future research employing network models could incorporate peer behavioral heterogeneity to get a more accurate portrait of the processes of peer influence.

AB - Criminologists’ understanding of peer influences has been greatly advanced by social network methods; however, relatively scant attention has been paid to improving measurement. In particular, research has continued to measure peer influence by averaging the level of delinquency within a peer network, thereby neglecting the role of behavioral heterogeneity. The present study seeks to advance theory and research into peer influences on delinquency by explicitly modeling behavioral heterogeneity in peer networks measured as the variance. Drawing on social learning and opportunity theories, we argue that behavioral heterogeneity should attenuate the effect of average peer delinquency on individual offending. Models using social network data from the Add Health were estimated predicting involvement in two delinquent substance-use acts (cigarette smoking and getting drunk) as a function of peer influences. The results are consistent with our hypothesis, indicating that behavioral heterogeneity matters. Findings suggest that future research employing network models could incorporate peer behavioral heterogeneity to get a more accurate portrait of the processes of peer influence.

KW - delinquent peers

KW - heterogeneity

KW - influence

KW - measurement

KW - social networks

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84938421775&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84938421775&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/07418825.2013.856932

DO - 10.1080/07418825.2013.856932

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84938421775

VL - 32

SP - 872

EP - 899

JO - Justice Quarterly

JF - Justice Quarterly

SN - 0741-8825

IS - 5

ER -