Misery does not love company

Network selection mechanisms and depression homophily

David R. Schaefer, Olga Kornienko, Andrew M. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Conventional wisdom holds that friends protect against depression through the social support they provide; however, depression likely has a role in structuring friendship networks. In particular, we investigate friend selection mechanisms responsible for similarity in depression among friends (i.e., homophily). Preference is one explanation, yet several correlates of depression make homophilous selection among depressed individuals unlikely. We propose two alternative mechanisms-avoidance and withdrawal-that can produce depression homophily in the absence of preference. These alternative mechanisms create homophily indirectly by limiting friendship partners available to depressed individuals. We test the preference, avoidance, and withdrawal mechanisms using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and a dynamic network model. Results provide support for the withdrawal mechanism. These findings help explain how depression affects friend selection and have broader implications for understanding selection mechanisms responsible for network patterns such as homophily.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-785
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican Sociological Review
Volume76
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Fingerprint

love
withdrawal
friendship
wisdom
social support
longitudinal study
adolescent
health

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • depression
  • health
  • homophily
  • social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Misery does not love company : Network selection mechanisms and depression homophily. / Schaefer, David R.; Kornienko, Olga; Fox, Andrew M.

In: American Sociological Review, Vol. 76, No. 5, 10.2011, p. 764-785.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schaefer, David R. ; Kornienko, Olga ; Fox, Andrew M. / Misery does not love company : Network selection mechanisms and depression homophily. In: American Sociological Review. 2011 ; Vol. 76, No. 5. pp. 764-785.
@article{7807827dddc949c78bdea2e5905bc574,
title = "Misery does not love company: Network selection mechanisms and depression homophily",
abstract = "Conventional wisdom holds that friends protect against depression through the social support they provide; however, depression likely has a role in structuring friendship networks. In particular, we investigate friend selection mechanisms responsible for similarity in depression among friends (i.e., homophily). Preference is one explanation, yet several correlates of depression make homophilous selection among depressed individuals unlikely. We propose two alternative mechanisms-avoidance and withdrawal-that can produce depression homophily in the absence of preference. These alternative mechanisms create homophily indirectly by limiting friendship partners available to depressed individuals. We test the preference, avoidance, and withdrawal mechanisms using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and a dynamic network model. Results provide support for the withdrawal mechanism. These findings help explain how depression affects friend selection and have broader implications for understanding selection mechanisms responsible for network patterns such as homophily.",
keywords = "adolescents, depression, health, homophily, social networks",
author = "Schaefer, {David R.} and Olga Kornienko and Fox, {Andrew M.}",
year = "2011",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1177/0003122411420813",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "76",
pages = "764--785",
journal = "American Sociological Review",
issn = "0003-1224",
publisher = "American Sociological Association",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Misery does not love company

T2 - Network selection mechanisms and depression homophily

AU - Schaefer, David R.

AU - Kornienko, Olga

AU - Fox, Andrew M.

PY - 2011/10

Y1 - 2011/10

N2 - Conventional wisdom holds that friends protect against depression through the social support they provide; however, depression likely has a role in structuring friendship networks. In particular, we investigate friend selection mechanisms responsible for similarity in depression among friends (i.e., homophily). Preference is one explanation, yet several correlates of depression make homophilous selection among depressed individuals unlikely. We propose two alternative mechanisms-avoidance and withdrawal-that can produce depression homophily in the absence of preference. These alternative mechanisms create homophily indirectly by limiting friendship partners available to depressed individuals. We test the preference, avoidance, and withdrawal mechanisms using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and a dynamic network model. Results provide support for the withdrawal mechanism. These findings help explain how depression affects friend selection and have broader implications for understanding selection mechanisms responsible for network patterns such as homophily.

AB - Conventional wisdom holds that friends protect against depression through the social support they provide; however, depression likely has a role in structuring friendship networks. In particular, we investigate friend selection mechanisms responsible for similarity in depression among friends (i.e., homophily). Preference is one explanation, yet several correlates of depression make homophilous selection among depressed individuals unlikely. We propose two alternative mechanisms-avoidance and withdrawal-that can produce depression homophily in the absence of preference. These alternative mechanisms create homophily indirectly by limiting friendship partners available to depressed individuals. We test the preference, avoidance, and withdrawal mechanisms using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and a dynamic network model. Results provide support for the withdrawal mechanism. These findings help explain how depression affects friend selection and have broader implications for understanding selection mechanisms responsible for network patterns such as homophily.

KW - adolescents

KW - depression

KW - health

KW - homophily

KW - social networks

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80053202804&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=80053202804&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0003122411420813

DO - 10.1177/0003122411420813

M3 - Article

VL - 76

SP - 764

EP - 785

JO - American Sociological Review

JF - American Sociological Review

SN - 0003-1224

IS - 5

ER -