The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4007.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 7

Abstract #42457

Using social networks to prevent smoking

Thomas W. Valente, PhD, School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1000 S. Fremont Ave, Bldg A Room 5133, Alhambra, CA 91803, (626) 457-6678,

This study describes a network-based method for identifying peer leaders and assigning those leaders to groups based on sociometric distances. This technique was implemented in a school-based tobacco prevention program to determine if peer leader identification and assignment methods influenced program effectiveness. Past studies have shown that peer led programs are more likely to be effective than programs without peer leaders. However, there has been considerable variation in the methods used to select peer leaders, and assign students to groups. Preliminary analyses were conducted among 2,453 students in 81 classrooms. Results indicate that students in the network condition liked the program better than the random assignment and teacher conditions. Further, students in the network condition improved their resistance skills more and decreased their rates of intention to smoke compared to the other conditions. One year followup data on smoking behavior and other mediators will be collected in March 2002.

Learning Objectives: From this presentation, audience members will

Keywords: School-Based Programs, Smoking

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Evaluation Issues in Tobacco Control Poster Session

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA