Peer attributes other than smoking have received little attention in the research on adolescent smoking, even though the developmental literature suggests the importance of multiple dimensions of adolescent friendships and peer relations. Social network analysis was used to measure the structure of peer relations (i.e., indicators of having friends, friendship quality, and status among peers) and peer smoking (i.e., friend and school smoking). We used three-level hierarchical growth models to examine the contribution of each time-varying peer variable to individual trajectories of smoking from age 11 to 17 while controlling for the other variables, and we tested interactions between the peer structure and peer smoking variables. Data were collected over five waves of assessment from a longitudinal sample of 6,579 students in three school districts. Findings suggest a greater complexity in the peer context of smoking than previously recognized.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 11, 2008
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