Dynamics of adolescent friendship networks and smoking behavior

L. Mercken*, T. A. B. Snijders, Christian Steglich, E. Vartiainen, H. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

127 Citations (Web of Science)


The mutual influence of smoking behavior and friendships in adolescence is studied. It is attempted to disentangle influence and selection processes in reciprocal and non-reciprocal friendships. An actor-based model is described for the co-evolution of friendship networks and smoking behavior. This model considers alternative selection and influence mechanisms, and models continuous-time changes in network and behavior. The data consists of a longitudinal sample of 1326 Finnish adolescents in 11 high schools. Findings suggest that selection as well as influence Processes play air important role in adolescent smoking behavior. Selection had a relatively stronger role than influence, in particular when selecting non-reciprocal friends. The strength of both influence and selection processes decreased over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-81
JournalSocial Networks
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Smoking
  • Adolescents
  • Selection
  • Influence
  • Friends
  • Reciprocity
  • Sierra

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