248966 Symmetry in Adolescent Friendship and Cigarette Smoking Behavior: The Maintenance of Similarity

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:38 AM

Cynthia M. Lakon, PhD , Population Health and Disease Prevention, UC Irvine, Irvine, CA
Past research indicates that adolescents have a propensity towards being similar to their close friends in their social network systems - a common ground which nurtures and fuels adolescent friendship bonds. The current study examines whether key intrapersonal and interpersonal domains of similarity among adolescents and their friends including perceived tie strength, generalized expectancies about future life events, and co-participation in school activities, predicts similarity in cigarette smoking behavior among adolescent friendship dyads. The data utilized in this study are from wave one of the National Study of adolescent Health (Add Health), of adolescent youth ages 11-19 in the United States (n=37,879). Dyad level indicators of similarity in perceived tie strength, generalized expectancies, and co-participation in school activities will be simultaneously tested in relation to similarity in cigarette smoking using Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM). Implications for tobacco prevention programming will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe characteristics of adolescent friendship ties which relate to similarity among adolescents on their smoking behavior. Explain why adolescent friendships dyads can be conceived of within a larger social network system.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Tobacco

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present this work as I have published peer reviewed papers on the social networks of adolescent youth and social networks as systems of influence on adolescent smoking.
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.