236699 Systematic Review of Social Network Analysis in Adolescent Cigarette Smoking Behavior

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dong-Chul Seo, PhD , Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Yan Huang, MS , Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Background: Social networks are important in adolescent smoking behavior. Previous research indicates that peer context is a major causal factor of adolescent smoking behavior. To date, however, little is known about the influence of peer group structure on adolescent smoking behavior.

Methods: Studies that examined adolescent social networks with regard to their cigarette smoking behavior were identified through online and manual literature searches. Ten social network analysis studies involving a total of 28263 adolescents were included in the final review. Results: Of the ten reviewed studies, six identify clique members, liaisons, and isolates as contributing factors to adolescent cigarette smoking. Significantly higher rates of smoking are noted among isolates than clique members or liaisons in terms of peer network structure. Isolates appear to be more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors than clique members or liaisons. Another theme emerging from the review is peer selection and influence. Eight of the reviewed studies indicate that peer selection or influence precedes adolescents' smoking behavior and intent to smoke. Such peer selection or influence accounts for a large portion of similarities among smoking adolescents.

Conclusion: Adolescents who are identified as isolates are more likely to smoke than others in the peer network structure. Given that the vast majority of current adult smokers started their smoking habits during adolescence, adolescent smoking prevention efforts will likely benefit from incorporating social network analytic approaches and focusing the efforts on isolates and other vulnerable adolescents from a peer selection and influence perspective.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain who are more likely to smoke than others in the peer network structure.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Network Analysis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted literature review and drafted the paper.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.