Ajilore, Olugbenga (2014). Understanding the role of adolescent social networks on ethnic disparities in healthy eating using spatial econometrics. 2014 Add Health Users Conference.
Children of different minority populations face different levels of resources which impacts the availability of healthy options and an understanding of proper eating habits. Social learning theory posits that peers can influence youth behavior through observation. Determining both the direct effect of peers and the indirect effect of peers on healthy eating can enhance our understanding of the potential impact of interventions on children. The policy implications of understanding peer effects are that programs which provide exposure to peers in high-resource communities can strengthen existing school and community based interventions. The proposed project will establish the impact of these so-called "multiplier" effects that is missing from the current childhood obesity literature. The project aims to determine the effect of peer influence on the eating behavior of adolescents and its implications on childhood obesity. A second aim of this project is to establish the efficacy of spatial econometrics in studying adolescent behaviors using survey data. We hypothesize that peers have a positive direct impact on adolescent eating behavior, but that the indirect peer effects are going to be different based on race and ethnicity. It is the estimation of these indirect effects that will make a contribution to our understanding of childhood obesity factors.
2014 Add Health Users Conference
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