Relationships between high school peer networks and type of postsecondary institution enrollment


Smith, Rachel & Parker, Wendy (2012). Relationships between high school peer networks and type of postsecondary institution enrollment. 2012 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


Educational norms are shaped by families, peers, schools, and neighborhoods, and these norms influence college choice. Specifically, researchers have demonstrated that students’ peer networks are related to their educational attainment in high school (Frank et al., 2008; Riegle-Crumb, Farkas, & Muller, 2006) and enrollment in college (Choi, Raley, Muller, & Riegle-Crumb, 2008). The current study extends previous work by including both social and academic peer networks in order to predict what type of institution students enroll in after high school, if any. The study’s hypothesis is that central network positions and homophilous relationships with peers in academic and social networks will be related to differences in type of postsecondary enrollment. The data for this study come from Add Health waves I and III, which is then linked to the Adolescent Health and Academic Achievement Study (AHAA). The dependent variables are institution type enrolled in, selectivity of institution, and racial/ethnic composition of the student body. Key independent variables include social network measures (characteristics of friends, in-degree, and network centrality) and academic network measures (co-enrollment in courses). The data will be analyzed using a combination of social network analysis and multilevel models (Frank, 1998). Expected results include that socially and academically homophilous peers will attend similar types of postsecondary institutions, net of controls.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2012 Add Health Users Conference


Smith, Rachel
Parker, Wendy

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID