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IBS Seminar Series: Peer Network Processes in Adolescents’ Health Lifestyles
January 24, 2019 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
jimi adams, CU Denver,
Title: Peer Network Processes in Adolescents' Health Lifestyles
Abstract: Identity-based lifestyles offer individuals a lens by which to make behavioral decisions, thereby serving to reproduce social inequalities. But how do such lifestyles come about and change over time? We argue that friendship networks have a role in lifestyle development, while also being a product of lifestyles themselves. In particular, we examine the relationships between friendship networks and health lifestyles— interrelated health behaviors arising from group-based identities. We suggest that modeling influence and selection processes for lifestyles rather than for specific health behaviors resolves theoretical and empirical limitations in studies of network and behavior change. Using Add Health data, we analyze two high schools with repeated friendship network data. Latent class analyses characterize each school’s predominant health lifestyles based on several health behavior domains. School-specific stochastic actor based models (SABM) evaluate the bidirectional relationship between friendship networks and health lifestyles. We find that predominant lifestyles differ across schools, but remain stable within schools over time, even as individuals transition between lifestyles. The findings also demonstrate that the similarity of health lifestyles among friends results primarily from selection, but also from influence processes.
Bio: jimi adams is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. His work focuses on examining social networks to understand how infectious diseases and novel ideas spread. This has included modeling HIV/AIDS risk in the US and sub-Saharan Africa, and the organizational dynamics of interdisciplinary fields.