CitationKim, Jinho & Kim, Taehoon (2024). Adolescent network positions and memory performance in adulthood: Evidence from sibling fixed effects models with sociometric network data. Social Networks. vol. 76 pp. 112-119
AbstractAlthough research has explored social factors influencing memory performance during adolescence, the impact of adolescent social network positions remains largely unknown. This study examines whether adolescent network position is associated with memory performance in adulthood, while also considering potential gender differences. The study used a sibling sample from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 2462) and employed sibling fixed effects models to account for unobserved family background factors, such as genetics, parental characteristics, family environment, and childhood neighborhood. Four dimensions of adolescent network position—i.e., popularity, sociality, degree centrality, and closeness centrality—were sociometrically assessed in schools. Memory performance in adulthood was measured using the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. The sibling fixed effects estimates indicate that sociality, degree centrality, and closeness centrality are significantly associated with increased memory performance in adulthood, even after controlling for unobserved family heterogeneity as well as a set of individual-level covariates. In contrast, controlling for unobserved family heterogeneity attenuated the association for popularity, making it statistically insignificant. This study also provides evidence of gender differences in the association between social network position and memory performance. The associations for popularity, sociality, and degree centrality are more pronounced among men than women. This study’s findings highlight the importance of adolescent network positions as social determinants in shaping cognitive outcomes over the life course. Interventions that encourage positive peer interactions and reduce social isolation during adolescence may help improve cognitive health in the population.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleSocial Networks