The differential contributions of teen drinking homophily to new and existing friendships

An empirical assessment of assortative and proximity selection mechanisms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Alcohol use is pervasive in adolescence. Though most research is concerned with how friends influence drinking, alcohol is also important for connecting teens to one another. Prior studies have not distinguished between new friendship creation, and existing friendship durability, however. We argue that accounting for distinctions in creation-durability processes is critical for understanding the selection mechanisms drawing drinkers into homophilous friendships, and the social integration that results. In order to address these issues, we applied. stochastic actor based models of network dynamics to National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health data. Adolescents only modestly prefer new friendships with others who drinker similarly, but greatly prefer friends who indirectly connect them to homophilous drinkers. These indirect homophilous drinker relationships are shorter lived, however, and suggest that drinking is a social focus that connects adolescents via proximity, rather than assortativity. These findings suggest that drinking leads to more situational and superficial social integration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1297-1310
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Science Research
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

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friendship
social integration
adolescent
alcohol
adolescence
longitudinal study
health

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Alcohol
  • Network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

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abstract = "Alcohol use is pervasive in adolescence. Though most research is concerned with how friends influence drinking, alcohol is also important for connecting teens to one another. Prior studies have not distinguished between new friendship creation, and existing friendship durability, however. We argue that accounting for distinctions in creation-durability processes is critical for understanding the selection mechanisms drawing drinkers into homophilous friendships, and the social integration that results. In order to address these issues, we applied. stochastic actor based models of network dynamics to National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health data. Adolescents only modestly prefer new friendships with others who drinker similarly, but greatly prefer friends who indirectly connect them to homophilous drinkers. These indirect homophilous drinker relationships are shorter lived, however, and suggest that drinking is a social focus that connects adolescents via proximity, rather than assortativity. These findings suggest that drinking leads to more situational and superficial social integration.",
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