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Soc Sci Med. 2012 May;74(9):1407-17. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.01.011. Epub 2012 Mar 2.

Social integration in friendship networks: the synergy of network structure and peer influence in relation to cigarette smoking among high risk adolescents.

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Department of Population Health and Disease Prevention, Program in Public Health, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA.


Using data from a study of high risk adolescents in Southern California, U.S.A. (N=851), this study examined synergy between social network measures of social integration and peer influence in relation to past month cigarette smoking. Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling, results indicated that being central in networks was significantly and positively related to past month cigarette smoking, across all study models. In addition, there is modest evidence that the number of reciprocated friendship ties was positively related to past month cigarette smoking. There is also some modest evidence that the relationship between having reciprocated friendships and past month cigarette smoking was moderated by a network peer influence process, smoking with those in youths' best friend networks. Findings indicate that being integrated within a social network context of peer influences favoring drug use relates to more smoking among these high risk youth.

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