CitationRobalino, Juan David & Macy, Michael (2018). Peer effects on adolescent smoking: Are popular teens more influential?. PLOS ONE. vol. 13 (7) pp. e0189360
AbstractPrevious research on adolescent cigarette adoption has focused on peer influence and the perceived status gain from smoking but has ignored the status effects on peer influence. We analyze adolescent peer effects on cigarette consumption while considering the popularity of peers. The analysis is based on a four wave panel survey representative of American high school students. We measure peers’ popularity by their eigenvector centrality in high school social networks. Using lagged peers’ behavior, school fixed effects, and instrumental variables to control for homophily and contextual confounds, we find that the probability of smoking the following year increases with the mean popularity of smokers, while the popularity of non-smokers has the opposite effect. These effects persist seven and fourteen years later (wave 3 and 4 of the data). In addition, the probability of smoking increases with the smoking propensity of the 20% most popular teens and decreases with the smoking propensity of the bottom 80%. The results indicate the importance of knowing not only the smoking propensity within a school but also the location of smokers within the social hierarchy.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitlePLOS ONE
Author(s)Robalino, Juan David