Objective Our interest is in the systematic network selection processes that lead adoles- cents into friendships with substance-using peers. Theory suggests that adolescents with certain risk factors (i.e., weak attachments to conventional society and low self-control) are more likely to select substance-using friends. Our goal is to evaluate whether adolescents with particular risk factors have a greater risk for befriending substance-using peers, while controlling for common network selection processes that can produce the same friendship pattern. These selection processes are important as they help to set the stage for later peer inﬂuence on substance use. Methods We use a Stochastic Actor-Oriented Model to examine network change among 1373 adolescents from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. We test whether low self-control and indicators of weak attachments (to family, school, and reli- gion) predict selecting friends engaged in alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use. Results We ﬁnd widespread evidence of the hypothesized friendship pattern within adolescent friendship networks. In most cases this pattern is a product of selection based on the risk factor and substance use, and not attributable to other selection mechanisms. Conclusions We highlight the need to broaden the study of delinquency to account for how adolescents come
Journal of Quantitative Criminology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 28, 2016
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