Social network characteristics of adolescents with learning disabilities


Humberstone, Elizabeth (2016). Social network characteristics of adolescents with learning disabilities. 2016 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


Previous studies suggest that peers impact adolescents' behaviors, opinions and academic achievement. While past research using Add Health network data has assessed social network influence on many adolescent subpopulations, such as those identifying as racial minorities or immigrants, little work has been done on the peer networks of adolescents with disabilities. The purpose of this study is to compare social networks of adolescents with disabilities with those without reported disabilities. The data for this study comes from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) Wave I and Network Variables data sets, which will be analyzed using multilevel modeling. The dependent variables for this study include network characteristics (e.g. number of friends nominated by the participant, number of friend nominations received by the participant, participant centrality in the network) and characteristics of friends (e.g. peers reporting disabilities, academic achievement, family characteristics). The key independent variable for this study is reported disabilities, both generally and disaggregated by disability type. Control variables include: gender, race, age, GPA, and family characteristics. It is hypothesized that those reporting disabilities will face greater social isolation compared to peers without disabilities after taking into account these controls.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2016 Add Health Users Conference


Humberstone, Elizabeth

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID