[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined how functional social support, HIV-related discrimination, internalized HIV stigma, and social network structure and composition were cross-sectionally associated with network members' knowledge of respondents' serostatus among 244 HIV-positive African Americans in Los Angeles. Results of a generalized hierarchical linear model indicated people in respondents' networks who were highly trusted, well-known to others (high degree centrality), HIV-positive, or sex partners were more likely to know respondents' HIV serostatus; African American network members were less likely to know respondents' serostatus, as were drug-using partners. Greater internalized stigma among respondents living with HIV was associated with less knowledge of their seropositivity within their social network whereas greater respondent-level HIV discrimination was associated with more knowledge of seropositivity within the network. Additional research is needed to understand the causal mechanisms and mediating processes associated with serostatus disclosure as well as the long-term consequences of disclosure and network members' knowledge of respondents' serostatus.
AIDS and Behavior 04/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10461-015-1039-5 · 3.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Marriages and other intimate partnerships are facilitated or constrained by the social networks within which they are embedded. To date, methods used to assess the social networks of couples have been limited to global ratings of social network characteristics or network data collected from each partner separately. In the current article, the authors offer new tools for expanding on the existing literature by describing methods of collecting and analyzing duocentric social networks, that is, the combined social networks of couples. They provide an overview of the key considerations for measuring duocentric networks, such as how and why to combine separate network interviews with partners into one shared duocentric network, the number of network members to assess, and the implications of different network operationalizations. They illustrate these considerations with analyses of social network data collected from 57 low-income married couples, presenting visualizations and quantitative measures of network composition and structure.
Journal of Marriage and Family 02/2015; 77(1). DOI:10.1111/jomf.12151 · 3.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: We examined the social, relational and network determinants of condom use and HIV testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Beirut. Methods: Two-hundred thirteen men were recruited via respondent driven sampling and administered a survey. Results: Sixty-four percent reported unprotected anal intercourse (UAI), including 23% who had UAI with unknown HIV status partners (UAIU); 62% of participants had tested for HIV. In multivariate analysis, being in a relationship was associated with UAI and HIV testing; lower condom self-efficacy was associated with UAIU and HIV testing; gay discrimination was associated with UAIU; MSM disclosure was associated with UAI, UAIU and HIV testing; and network centralization was associated with HIV testing. Conclusions: Multi-level social factors influence sexual health in MSM.
International Journal of Sexual Health 11/2014; DOI:10.1080/19317611.2014.969467 · 0.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adolescents often befriend peers who are similar to themselves on a range of demographic, behavioral, and social characteristics, including substance use. Similarities in lifetime history of marijuana use have even been found to predict adolescent friendships, and we examine whether this finding is explained by youth's selection of friends who are similar on a range of more proximate, observable characteristics that are risk factors for marijuana use. Using two waves of individual and social network data from two high schools that participated in Add Health (N = 1,612; 52.7 % male), we apply longitudinal models for social networks to test whether or not several observable risky attributes (psychological, behavioral, and social) predict adolescent friendship choices, and if these preferences explain friend's similarities on lifetime marijuana use. Findings show that similarities on several risk factors predict friendship choices, however controlling for this, the preference to befriend peers with a similar history of marijuana use largely persists. The results highlight the range of social selection processes that lead to similarities in marijuana use among friends and larger peer groups, and that also give rise to friendship groups whose members share similar risk factors for substance use. Friends with high "collective risk" are likely to be important targets for preventing the onset and social diffusion of substance use in adolescents.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 11/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10964-014-0210-z · 2.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: With marijuana use increasing among American adolescents, better understanding of the factors associated with decreasing use and quitting can help inform cessation efforts. This study evaluates a range of neighborhood, family, peer network, and individual factors as predictors of marijuana use, change, and non-use over one year, and cessation over six years. Methods: Data come from adolescents in Waves I and II of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N=. 458, one-year sample), or Waves I and III (N=. 358, six-year sample), and reported using marijuana at least four times in the past month at Wave I. Results: Eighteen percent of adolescents stopped using marijuana after six years. Results suggest neighborhood context affects overall use level, whereas neighborhood context and friends were critical to cessation vs. continuation of use. Decrease in use were more likely among adolescents in disadvantaged or less cohesive neighborhoods, or who moved between waves. Non-use after one year was more likely among adolescents who did not move, had fewer marijuana-using friends, and did not exclusively have outside-of-school friends. Cessation at six years was more likely among adolescents in less disadvantaged and more cohesive neighborhoods, and for those with within-school friends. Conclusions: Results highlight the importance of both objective and subjective neighborhood characteristics, as well as peer networks, on adolescent marijuana use. Factors associated with decreases in use appear distinct from those that predict quitting, suggesting that continuation vs. cessation is linked to peers as well as neighborhood context. Relocated and isolated individuals may face challenges with cessation.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence 09/2014; 144. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.08.019 · 3.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives. We assessed whether 2 types of public housing-scattered among market-rate housing developments or clustered in small public housing projects-were associated with the perceived health and health behaviors of residents' social networks. Methods. Leveraging a natural experiment in Montgomery County, Maryland, in which residents were randomly assigned to different types of public housing, we surveyed 453 heads of household in 2011. We asked residents about their own health as well as the perceived health of their network members, including their neighbors. Results. Residents in scattered-site public housing perceived that their neighbors were more likely to exercise than residents of clustered public housing (24.7% of network members vs 14.0%; P < .001). There were no significant differences in the proportion of network members who were perceived to have major health problems, depressed mood, poor diet, or obesity. Having more network members who smoked was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of smoking. Conclusions. Different types of public housing have a modest impact on the health composition of one's social network, suggesting the importance of housing policy for health. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print July 17, 2014: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.301949).
American Journal of Public Health 07/2014; 104(9):e1-e8. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2014.301949 · 4.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Homeless men are frequently unsheltered and isolated, disconnected from supportive organizations and individuals. However, little research has investigated these men's social networks. We investigate the structure and composition of homeless men's social networks, vis-a-vis short- and long-term homelessness with a sample of men drawn randomly from meal lines on Skid Row in Los Angeles. Men continuously homeless for the past six months display networks composed of riskier members when compared to men intermittently homeless during that time. Men who report chronic, long-term homelessness display greater social network fragmentation when compared to non-chronically homeless men. While intermittent homelessness affects network composition in ways that may be addressable with existing interventions, chronic homelessness fragments networks, which may be more difficult to address with those interventions. These findings have implications for access to social support from network members which, in turn, impacts the resources homeless men require from other sources such as the government or NGOs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although several social network studies have demonstrated peer influence effects on adolescent substance use, findings for marijuana use have been equivocal. This study examines whether structural features of friendships moderate friends' influence on adolescent marijuana use over time.
Using 1-year longitudinal data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this article examines whether three structural features of friendships moderate friends' influence on adolescent marijuana use: whether the friendship is reciprocated, the popularity of the nominated friend, and the popularity/status difference between the nominated friend and the adolescent. The sample consists of students in grade 10/11 at wave I, who were in grade 11/12 at wave II, from two large schools with complete grade-based friendship network data (N = 1,612).
In one school, friends' influence on marijuana use was more likely to occur within mutual, reciprocated friendships compared with nonreciprocated relationships. In the other school, friends' influence was stronger when the friends were relatively popular within the school setting or much more popular than the adolescents themselves.
Friends' influence on youth marijuana use may play out in different ways, depending on the school context. In one school, influence occurred predominantly within reciprocated relationships that are likely characterized by closeness and trust, whereas in the other school adopting friends' drug use behaviors appeared to be a strategy to attain social status. Further research is needed to better understand the conditions under which structural features of friendships moderate friends' influence on adolescent marijuana use.
Journal of Adolescent Health 09/2013; 54(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.07.025 · 2.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Friends are thought to influence adolescent drug use. However, few studies have examined the role of drugs in friendship selection, which is necessary to draw sound conclusions about influence. This study applied statistical models for social networks to test the contribution of selection and influence to associations in marijuana use among friends in two large high schools (N = 1,612; M age = 16.4). There was evidence for friend selection based on similar lifetime and current marijuana use at both schools, but friends were found to influence the initiation and frequency of adolescent marijuana use in just one of these schools. There was minimal evidence that peer effects were moderated by personal, school, or family risk factors.
Journal of Research on Adolescence 09/2013; 23(3). DOI:10.1111/jora.12018 · 1.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify characteristics of social network members with whom homeless youth engage in drinking and drug use.
A multi-stage probability sample of homeless youth completed a social network survey.
Forty-one shelters, drop-in centers and known street hangouts in Los Angeles County.
A total of 419 homeless youth, aged 13–24 years (mean age = 20.09, standard deviation = 2.80).
Respondents described 20 individuals in their networks, including their substance use and demographics, and the characteristics of the relationships they shared, including with whom they drank and used drugs. Dyadic, multi-level regressions identified predictors of shared substance use.
Shared drinking was more likely to occur with recent sex partners [odds ratio (OR) = 2.64, confidence interval (CI): 1.67, 4.18], drug users (OR = 4.57, CI: 3.21, 6.49), sexual risk takers (OR = 1.71, CI: 1.25, 2.33), opinion leaders (OR = 1.69, CI: 1.42, 2.00), support providers (OR = 1.41, CI: 1.03, 1.93) and popular people (those with high degree scores in the network) (OR = 1.07, CI: 1.01, 1.14). Shared drug use was more likely to occur with recent sex partners (OR = 2.44, CI: 1.57, 3.80), drinkers (OR = 4.53, CI: 3.05, 6.74), sexual risk takers (OR = 1.51, CI: 1.06, 2.17), opinion leaders (OR = 1.24, CI: 1.03, 1.50), support providers (OR = 1.83, CI: 1.29, 2.60) and popular people (OR = 1.16, CI: 1.08, 1.24).
Homeless youth in the United States are more likely to drink or use drugs with those who engage in multiple risk behaviors and who occupy influential social roles (popular, opinion leaders, support providers, sex partners). Understanding these social networks may be helpful in designing interventions to combat substance misuse.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goal of this study is to better understand the longitudinal cross-lagged associations between popularity, assessed through self-rating and peer nominations, and alcohol use among middle school students.
The analytical sample comprises 1,835 sixth- to eighth-grade students who were initially recruited from three California middle schools and surveyed in the fall and spring semesters of 2 academic years. Students reported on their background characteristics, past-month alcohol use, and perceived popularity. Additionally, students provided school-based friendship nominations, which were used to calculate peer-nominated popularity. A cross-lagged regression approach within a structural equation modeling framework was used to examine the longitudinal relationship between popularity (self-rated and peer-nominated) and alcohol use.
There was a statistically significant (p = .024) association between peer-nominated popularity and the probability of alcohol consumption at the subsequent survey, but not vice versa. Our results suggest that in a scenario where 8% of students are past-month drinkers, each increase of five friendship nominations is associated with a 30% greater risk of being a current drinker at the next wave. We found no evidence of longitudinal associations between past-month alcohol consumption and self-rated popularity.
Popularity is a risk factor for drinking during the middle school years, with peer-nominated popularity being more predictive of use than self-perceptions of popularity. To inform alcohol prevention efforts for middle school students, additional research is needed to better understand why adolescents with a larger number of school-based friendship ties are more inclined to drink.
Journal of Adolescent Health 01/2013; 52(1):108-15. DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.04.012 · 2.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Homeless youth lack the traditional support networks of their housed peers, which increases their risk for poor health outcomes. Using a multilevel dyadic analytic approach, this study identified characteristics of social contacts, relationships, and social networks associated with the provision of tangible and emotional support to homeless youth (N = 419, M age = 20.09, SD = 2.80). Support providers were likely to be family members, sex-partners, or non-street based contacts. The provision of support was also associated with contacts' employment and homelessness status, frequency of contact, shared risk behaviors, and the number of network members that were homeless and employed. The results provide insights into how homeless youth could be assisted to develop more supportive social networks.
Journal of Research on Adolescence 12/2012; 22(4):604-616. DOI:10.1111/j.1532-7795.2012.00806.x · 1.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is growing interest in network-based interventions to reduce HIV sexual risk behavior among both homeless youth and men who have sex with men. The goal of this study was to better understand the social network and individual correlates of sexual risk behavior among homeless young men who have sex with men (YMSM) to inform these HIV prevention efforts.MethodsA multistage sampling design was used to recruit a probability sample of 121 homeless YMSM (ages: 16–24 years) from shelters, drop-in centers, and street venues in Los Angeles County. Face-to-face interviews were conducted. Because of the different distributions of the three outcome variables, three distinct regression models were needed: ordinal logistic regression for unprotected sex, zero-truncated Poisson regression for number of sex partners, and logistic regression for any sex trade.ResultsHomeless YMSM were less likely to engage in unprotected sex and had fewer sex partners if their networks included platonic ties to peers who regularly attended school, and had fewer sex partners if most of their network members were not heavy drinkers. Most other aspects of network composition were unrelated to sexual risk behavior. Individual predictors of sexual risk behavior included older age, Hispanic ethnicity, lower education, depressive symptoms, less positive condom attitudes, and sleeping outdoors because of nowhere else to stay.ConclusionsHIV prevention programs for homeless YMSM may warrant a multipronged approach that helps these youth strengthen their ties to prosocial peers, develop more positive condom attitudes, and access needed mental health and housing services.
Journal of Adolescent Health 10/2012; 51(4):386-392. DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.01.015 · 2.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Adolescent smoking studies find evidence of active peer influence and selection processes. However, studies have shown that these processes operate differently depending on context. This study uses SIENA to model coevolutionary processes between smoking and changes in friendship ties, comparing two high schools in which data were collected in identical fashion to explore influence and selection mechanisms with respect to current smoking, and smoking levels. METHODS: This is a longitudinal survey with 2 waves of data. In-home surveys were conducted with students from 2 large high schools in the United States: a West Coast school, and a Midwestern school. Participants were consented students in 10th and 11th grades at the first wave of data collection. The primary measures were self-reported smoking behavior and friendship nominations. RESULTS: There is evidence of influence and selection in both schools for adolescents' smoking status (1 = any smoking) and for level of smoking.Conclusions:These models reflect great similarities in influence and selection processes across schools for different smoking behaviors. However, smoking prevalence may impact the exact mechanisms by which influence and selection operate. Researchers should consider smoking interventions with independent modules addressing different selection and influence processes, implemented based on contextual factors such as the prevalence of smoking.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Few after-school programs target alcohol and other drug (AOD) use because it is difficult to encourage a diverse group of youth to voluntarily attend. The current study describes attendance at a voluntary after-school program called CHOICE, which targeted AOD use among middle school students. Over 4,000 students across eight schools completed surveys and 15% participated in CHOICE. Analyses indicated that there were some differences between CHOICE participants and non-participants. For example, African American and multiethnic students were more likely to attend. Past month alcohol users were more likely to initially attend, and marijuana users were more likely to continue attendance. Thus, CHOICE reached students of different racial/ethnic groups and attracted higher risk youth who may not typically obtain prevention services.
Journal of Research on Adolescence 09/2012; 22(3):571-582. DOI:10.1111/j.1532-7795.2012.00782.x · 1.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: This study examines whether residential neighborhood characteristics influence the initiation of marijuana use and binge drinking, and if these neighborhood factors heighten or dampen peer influences on substance use. METHODS: Predictors of marijuana (N=6516) and binge drinking (N=6630) initiation over a 1-year period were identified using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Participants were of ages 12-19 years at baseline. The main predictor variables were neighborhood characteristics, using both objective (proportion of households below the poverty line and female-headed, unemployment rate, residential stability) and subjective (perceived cohesion and safety) measures. Binge drinking was defined as 5 or more drinks in a row. RESULTS: Initiation occurred for 12.9% of adolescents in the case of marijuana and 16.4% for binge drinking. Marijuana initiation was more likely among adolescents who lived in neighborhoods with a higher unemployment rate, and binge drinking initiation was more likely among those who perceived greater safety in their neighborhood, after adjusting for other neighborhood characteristics, demographics, friend characteristics, and behavioral and family risk factors. There was no evidence that neighborhood context moderates the associations of peer factors on initiation. CONCLUSIONS: Select neighborhood characteristics appear relevant to the initiation of marijuana use and binge drinking, although the mechanisms appear to be distinct for each substance. If these results are found to be robust, future research should aim to better understand how neighborhood context influences the initiation of adolescent substance use in order to inform prevention efforts.
Drug and alcohol dependence 08/2012; 128(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.08.006 · 3.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Homeless youth have elevated risk of HIV through sexual behavior. This project investigates the multiple levels of influence on unprotected sex among homeless youth, including social network, individual, and partner level influences. Findings are based on analyses of an exploratory, semi-structured interview (n = 40) and a structured personal network interview (n = 240) with randomly selected homeless youth in Los Angeles. Previous social network studies of risky sex by homeless youth have collected limited social network data from non-random samples and have not distinguished sex partner influences from other network influences. The present analyses have identified significant associations with unprotected sex at multiple levels, including individual, partner, and, to a lesser extent, the social network. Analyses also distinguished between youth who did or did not want to use condoms when they had unprotected sex. Implications for social network based HIV risk interventions with homeless youth are discussed.
AIDS and Behavior 05/2012; 16(7):2015-32. DOI:10.1007/s10461-012-0195-0 · 3.49 Impact Factor