Friends' Influence on Adolescent Drinking and Smoking | Journal of Adolescent Health
Friendship networks are an important source of peer influence. However, existing network studies vary in terms of how they operationalize friendship and friend's influence on adolescent substance use. This 2012 study from the Journal of Adolescent Health uses social network analysis to characterize three types of friendship relations: (1) mutual or reciprocated, (2) directional, and (3) intimate friends. It then examines the relative effects of each friendship type on adolescent drinking and smoking behavior. This study demonstrates that considering different features of friendship relationships is important in evaluating friends' influence on adolescent substance use. Related policy implications are also discussed.