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Fam Community Health. 2012 Oct-Dec;35(4):312-21. doi: 10.1097/FCH.0b013e3182666650.

Homophily and health behavior in social networks of older adults.

Author information

1
Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA. jdf50@pitt.edu

Abstract

A common network phenomenon, homophily, involves developing relationships with others who are similar to you. The intent of this study was to determine if older adults' health behaviors were shared within social networks. We interviewed older adults from low-income senior housing (egos) on egocentric social network characteristics and key health behaviors for themselves and for named social ties (alters). Findings suggest strong effects for homophily, especially for those who smoked and were physically inactive. Public health interventions for older adults should consider the influence that social relationships have on personal health behaviors. Network-based interventions may be required.

PMID:
22929377
PMCID:
PMC4879825
DOI:
10.1097/FCH.0b013e3182666650
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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