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


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

Cite this