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Ennett, Susan T.; Bauman, Karl E.; Hussong, Andrea M.; Faris, Robert W.; Foshee, Vangie Ann; DuRant, Robert H.; & Cai, Li (2006). The Peer Context of Adolescent Substance Use: Findings from Social Network Analysis. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 16(2), 159-186.


To examine the peer context of adolescent substance use, social network analysis was used to measure three domains of attributes of peer networks: social embeddedness, social status, and social proximity to substance users. The sample was a panel of 5,104 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in three public school systems surveyed every 6 months for five assessments. Hierarchical generalized linear models showed that adolescents less embedded in the network, with greater status, and with closer social proximity to peer substance users were more likely to use substances. Also, adolescents in less dense networks and networks with higher smoking prevalence were more likely to smoke and use marijuana. Results establish the utility of social network analysis for measuring peer context and indicate that conventionality of relationships--having friends in the network, being liked but not too well liked, and having fewer friends who use substances--is most beneficial.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Research on Adolescence


Ennett, Susan T.
Bauman, Karl E.
Hussong, Andrea M.
Faris, Robert W.
Foshee, Vangie Ann
DuRant, Robert H.
Cai, Li