Selection and Influence Mechanisms Associated with Marijuana Initiation and Use in Adolescent Friendship Networks

Published in: Journal of Research on Adolescence, v. 23, no. 3, Sep. 2013, p. 474-486

Posted on on September 01, 2013

by Kayla de la Haye, Harold D. Green, David P. Kennedy, Michael S. Pollard, Joan S. Tucker

Read More

Access further information on this document at Journal of Research on Adolescence

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

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.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.