Seminar: "Variations in Peer Influence and Friend Selection: Implications for Network-based Prevention Campaigns"

Cassie McMillan, M.S., Doctoral Candidate in Sociology and Criminology, The Pennsylvania State University

  • Tuesday February 12, 2019 from 12:00 pm–1:00 pm
  • 312 Biobehavioral Health Building

Seminar Abstract:  

Previous research has provided convincing evidence that peer influence and friend selection work together to explain why adolescents participate in similar problem behaviors to those exhibited by their friends. However, it is less clear whether these social processes vary according to individual- and context-level characteristics. Using a uniquely large, longitudinal sample of over 50 middle- and high-school friendship networks, the current project further considers how adolescents’ social ties and problem behaviors are differently impacted by peer influence and friend selection. Additionally, by adopting a simulation approach, I demonstrate how such variation can shape the effectiveness of network-based prevention campaigns for underage drinking.