Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 44, Issue 9, pp 1767–1786 | Cite as

A Dynamic Model of Adolescent Friendship Networks, Parental Influences, and Smoking

  • Cynthia M. LakonEmail author
  • Cheng Wang
  • Carter T. Butts
  • Rupa Jose
  • David S. Timberlake
  • John R. Hipp
Empirical Research


Peer and parental influences are critical socializing forces shaping adolescent development, including the co-evolving processes of friendship tie choice and adolescent smoking. This study examines aspects of adolescent friendship networks and dimensions of parental influences shaping friendship tie choice and smoking, including parental support, parental monitoring, and the parental home smoking environment using a Stochastic Actor-Based model. With data from three waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health of youth in grades 7 through 12, including the In-School Survey, the first wave of the In-Home survey occurring 6 months later, and the second wave of the In-Home survey, occurring one year later, this study utilizes two samples based on the social network data collected in the longitudinal saturated sample of sixteen schools. One consists of twelve small schools (n = 1,284, 50.93 % female), and the other of one large school (n = 976, 48.46 % female). The findings indicated that reciprocity, choosing a friend of a friend as a friend, and smoking similarity increased friendship tie choice behavior, as did parental support. Parental monitoring interacted with choosing friends who smoke in affecting friendship tie choice, as at higher levels of parental monitoring, youth chose fewer friends that smoked. A parental home smoking context conducive to smoking decreased the number of friends adolescents chose. Peer influence and a parental home smoking environment conducive to smoking increased smoking, while parental monitoring decreased it in the large school. Overall, peer and parental factors affected the coevolution of friendship tie choice and smoking, directly and multiplicatively.


Adolescence Friendship Social networks Smoking Peer influence Stochastic Actor-Based models Parental monitoring 



Grant #1 R21 DA031152-01A1, Cascades of Network Structure and Function: Pathways to Adolescent Substance Use. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Health, administered through the Program in Public Health, UC Irvine.

Author contributions

CML conceived of the study and took the lead in writing the article; CW conducted all study analyses and co-wrote the Methods and Results sections with JRH; CTB aided in data analysis, study conception, and in writing the article; RJ conducted all tasks related to data management and assisted in writing the article; DST aided in study conception and measurement; and JRH aided in the conception of the study, and had a significant role in writing, measurement issues, and data analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


  1. Abel, G., Plumridge, L., & Graham, P. (2002). Peers, networks or relationships: Strategies for understanding social dynamics as determinants of smoking behaviour. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 9(4), 325–338.Google Scholar
  2. Alexander, C., Piazza, M., Mekos, D., & Valente, T. (2001). Peers, schools, and adolescent cigarette smoking. Journal of Adolescent Health, 29(1), 22–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allen, J. P., Porter, M. R., & McFarland, F. C. (2006). Leaders and followers in adolescent close friendships: Susceptibility to peer influence as a predictor of risky behavior, friendship instability, and depression. Development and Psychopathology, 18, 155–172.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allen, J. P., Porter, M. R., McFarland, F. C., Marsh, P., & McElhaney, K. B. (2005). The two faces of adolescents’ success with peers: Adolescent popularity, social adaptation, and deviant behavior. Child Development, 76(3), 747–760.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ary, D. V., Duncan, T. E., Biglan, A., Metzler, C. W., Noell, J. W., & Smolkowski, K. (1999). Development of adolescent problem behavior. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 27(2), 141–150.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bandura, A. (1977a). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavorial change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191–215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bandura, A. (1977b). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  8. Barber, B. K. (1992). Family, personality, and adolescent problem behaviors. Journal of Marriage and Family, 54(1), 69–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Baumrind, D. (1991). The influence of parenting style on adolescent competence and substance use. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 11(1), 56–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bearman, P. S., Moody, J., & Stovel, K. (2004). Chains of affection: The structure of adolescent romantic and sexual networks. American Journal of Sociology, 110(1), 44–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Biglan, A., Duncan, T. E., Ary, D. V., & Smolkowski, K. (1995). Peer and parental influences on adolescent tobacco use. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 18(4), 315–330.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bogenschneider, K., Wu, M.-Y., Raffaelli, M., & Tsay, J. C. (1998). Parent influences on adolescent peer orientation and substance use: The interface of parenting practices and values. Child Development, 69(6), 1672–1688.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bond, L., Butler, H., Thomas, L., Carlin, J., Glover, S., Bowes, G., et al. (2007). Social and school connectedness in early secondary school as predictors of late teenage substance use, mental health, and academic outcomes. Journal of Adolescent Health, 40, 9–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss (Vol. 1). New York: Basic.Google Scholar
  15. Brechwald, W., & Prinstein, M. (2011). Beyond homophily: A decade of advances in understanding peer influence processes. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(1), 166–179.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Brown, B. B., Mounts, N., Lamborn, S. D., & Steinberg, L. (1993). Parenting practices and peer group affiliation in adolescence. Child Development, 64(2), 467–482.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Buhrmester, D. (1990). Intimacy of friendship, interpersonal competence, and adjustment during preadolescence and adolescence. Child Development, 61(4), 1101–1111.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Buhrmester, D., & Furman, W. (1986). The changing functions of friendship in childhood: A neo-Sullivanian perspective. In V. J. Derlega & B. A. Winstead (Eds.), Friendship and social interaction (pp. 41–62). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cheadle, J. E., & Goosby, B. J. (2012). The small-school friendship dynamics of adolescent depressive symptoms. Society and Mental Health, 2(2), 99–119.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cheadle, J. E., & Schwadel, E. (2012). The ‘friendship dynamics of religion’, or the ‘religious dynamics of friendship’? A social network analysis of adolescents who attend small schools. Social Science Research, 41(5), 1198–1212.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Chuang, Y.-C., Ennett, S. T., Bauman, K. E., & Foshee, V. A. (2005). Neighborhood influences on adolescent cigarette and alcohol use: Mediating effects through parent and peer behaviors. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 46(2), 187–204.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Clayton, S. (1991). Gender differences in psychosocial determinants of adolescent smoking. Journal of School Health, 61(3), 115–120.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Coleman, J. S. (1961). The adolescent society: the social life of the teenager and its impact on education. New York, NY: The Free Press of Glencoe.Google Scholar
  25. DeLay, D., Laursen, B., Kiuru, N., Salmela-Aro, K., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2013). Selecting and Retaining friends on the basis of cigarette smoking similarity. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23(3), 464–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dishion, T. J. (2013). Stochastic agent-based modeling of influence and selection in adolescence: Current status and future directions in understanding the dynamics of peer contagion. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23(3), 596–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Dishion, T. J., & McMahon, R. J. (1998). Parental monitoring and the prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior: A conceptual and empirical formulation. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 1(1), 61–75.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Dishion, T. J., & Tipscord, J. M. (2011). Peer contagion in child and adolescent social and emotional development. Annual Review of Psychology, 62, 189–214.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Engels, R. C. M. E., Vitaro, F., Den Exter Blokland, E., De Kemp, R., & Scholte, R. H. J. (2004). Influence and selection processes in friendships and adolescent smoking behaviour: The role of parental smoking. Journal of Adolescence, 27(5), 531–544.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ennett, S. T., & Bauman, K. E. (1993). Peer group structure and adolescent cigarette smoking: A social network analysis. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 34(3), 226–236.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ennett, S. T., Bauman, K. E., Hussong, A., Faris, R., Foshee, V. A., Cai, L., et al. (2006). The peer context of adolescent substance use: Findings from social network analysis. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 16(2), 159–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Falbo, T., Lein, L., & Amador, N. A. (2001). Parental involvement during the transition to high school. Journal of Adolescent Research, 16(5), 511–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Garbarino, J. (1980). Some thoughts on school size and its effects on adolescent development. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 9(1), 19–29.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Giordano, P. C. (2003). Relationships in adolescence. Annual Review of Sociology, 29, 257–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Giovino, G. A., Henningfield, J. E., Tomar, S. L., Escobedo, L. G., & Slade, J. (1995). Epidemiology of tobacco use and dependence. Epidemiologic Reviews, 17(1), 48–63.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Hamm, J. V. (2000). Do birds of a feather flock together? The variable bases for African American, Asian American, and European American Adolescents’ selection of similar friends. Developmental Psychology, 36(2), 209–219.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Handcock, M. S. (2002). Missing data for social networks.Google Scholar
  38. Harris, K. M., Halpern, C. T., Whitsel, E., Hussey, J., Tabor, J., Entzel, P., & Udry, J. R. (2009). The national longitudinal study of adolescent health: Research design.
  39. Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hirschi, T. (1969). Causes of delinquency. Berkley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  41. Homans, G. C. (1974). Social behavior: Its elementary forms (2nd ed.). New York: Harcourt, Brace & World Inc.Google Scholar
  42. Kandel, D. B. (1978a). Homophily, selection, and socialization in adolescent friendships. American Journal of Sociology, 84(2), 427–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kandel, D. B. (1978b). Similarity in real-life adolescent friendship pairs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36(3), 306–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kelder, S. H., Perry, C. L., Klepp, K. I., & Lytle, L. L. (1994). Longitudinal tracking of adolescent smoking, physical activity, and food choice behaviors. American Journal of Public Health, 84(7), 1121–1126.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kelly, J. A., St. Lawrence, J. S., Diaz, Y. E., Stevenson, L. Y., Hauth, A. C., Brasfield, T. L. et al. (1991). HIV risk behavior reduction following intervention with key opinion leaders of population: An experimental analysis. American Journal of Public Health, 81(2), 168–171.Google Scholar
  46. Kerr, M., & Stattin, H. (2000). What parents know, how they know it, and several forms of adolescent adjustment: Further support for a reinterpretation of monitoring. Developmental Psychology, 36(3), 366–380.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kiesner, J., Poulin, F., & Dishion, T. J. (2010). Adolescent substance use with friends: Moderating and mediating effects of parental monitoring and peer activity contexts. Merrill Palmer Q (Wayne State Univ Press), 56(4), 529–556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kirke, D. M. (2004). Chain reactions in adolescents’ cigarette, alcohol and drug use: Similarity through peer influence or the patterning of ties in peer networks? Social Networks, 26(1), 3–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Knoester, C., Haynie, D. L., & Stephens, C. M. (2006). Parenting practices and adolescents’ friendship networks. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68(5), 1247–1260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kobus, K. (2003). Peers and adolescent smoking. Addiction, 98(Suppl s1), 37–55.Google Scholar
  51. Lazarsfeld, P. F., & Merton, R. K. (1954). Friendship as a social process: A substantive and methodological analysis. In M. Berger, T. Abel, & C. H. Page (Eds.), Freedom and control in modern society (pp. 18–66). New York, NY: Van Nostrand.Google Scholar
  52. Leeuw, R. N. H. D., Scholte, R. H. J., Harakeh, Z., Leeuwe, J. F. J. V., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2008). Parental smoking-specific communication, adolescents’ smoking behavior and friendship selection. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 37, 1229–1241.Google Scholar
  53. Li, X., Stanton, B., & Feigelman, S. (2000). Impact of perceived parental monitoring on adolescent risk behavior over 4 years. Journal of Adolescent Health, 27(1), 49–56.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mathys, C., Burk, W. J., & Cillessen, A. H. N. (2013). Popularity as a moderator of peer selection and socialization of adolescent alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23(3), 513–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Maxwell, K. A. (2002). Friends: The role of peer influence across adolescent risk behaviors. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 31(4), 267–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Mercken, L., Candel, M., Willems, P., & De Vries, H. (2007). Disentangling social selection and social influence effects on adolescent smoking: The importance of reciprocity in friendships. Addiction, 102(9), 1483–1492.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Mercken, L., Steglich, C., Sinclair, P., Holliday, J., & Moore, L. (2012). A longitudinal social network analysis of peer influence, peer selection, and smoking behavior among adolescents in British schools. Health Psychology, 31(4), 450–459.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Nye, F. I. (1958). Family relationships and delinquent behavior. New York, NY: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  59. Orlando, M., Tucker, J. S., Ellickson, P. L., & Klein, D. J. (2004). Developmental trajectories of cigarette smoking and their correlates from early adolescence to young adulthood. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72(3), 400–410.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Parke, R. D., & Bhavnagri, N. P. (1989). Parents as managers of children’s peer relationships. In D. Belle (Ed.), Children’s social networks and social supports (pp. 241–259). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  61. Parke, R. D., & Ladd, G. (1992). Family-peer relationships. Hillsdale, NY: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  62. Poole, E. D., & Regoli, R. M. (1979). Parental support, delinquent friends, and delinquency: A test of interaction effects. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 70(2), 188–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1(3), 385–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Ripley, R. M., Snijders, T. A. B., Boda, Z., Vörös, A., & Preciado, P. (2014). Manual for SIENA version 4.0 (version February 17, 2014).
  65. Robins, G. (2013). A tutorial on methods for the modeling and analysis of social network data. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 57, 261–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Rubin, K. H., Dwyer, K. M., Booth-LaForce, C., Kim, A. H., Burgess, K. B., & Rose-Krasnor, L. (2004). Attachment, friendship, and psychosocial functioning in early adolescence. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 24, 326–356.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Savin-Williams, R. C., & Berndt, T. J. (1990). In S. S. Feldman & G. R. Elliott (Eds.), At the threshold: The developing adolescent (pp. 277–307). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Simons, R. M., Chao, W., Conger, R. D., & Elder, G. H. (2001). Quality of parenting as mediator of the effect of childhood defiance on adolescent friendship choices and delinquency: A growth curve analysis. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63(1), 63–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Simons-Morton, B. G. (2002). Prospective analysis of peer and parent influences on smoking initiation among early adolescents. Prevention Science, 3(4), 275–283.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Simons-Morton, B. G., Chen, R., Abroms, L., & Haynie, D. L. (2004). Latent growth curve analyses of peer and parent influences on smoking progression among early adolescents. Health Psychology, 23(6), 612–621.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Simpkins, S. D., Schaefer, D. R., Price, C. D., & Vest, A. E. (2013). Adolescent friendships, BMI, and physical activity: Untangling selection and influence through longitudinal social network analysis. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23(3), 537–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Snijders, T. A. B. (2011). Network Dynamics. In J. Scott & P. J. Carrington (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of social network analysis (pp. 501–513). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  73. Snijders, T. A. B., van de Bunt, G. G., & Steglich, C. E. (2010). Introduction to stochastic actor-based models for network dynamics. Social Networks, 32, 44–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Stattin, H., & Kerr, M. (2000). Parental monitoring: A reinterpretation. Child Development, 71(4), 1072–1085.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Steinberg, L., Fletcher, A., & Darling, N. (1994). Parental monitoring and peer influences on adolescent substance use. Pediatrics, 93(6), 1060–1064.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  76. Steuber, T. L., & Danner, F. (2006). Adolescent smoking and depression: Which comes first? Addictive Behaviors, 31(1), 133–136.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Sutherland, E. H. (1947). Principles of criminology (4th ed.). Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott.Google Scholar
  78. Sutherland, E. H., & Cressey, D. R. (1970). Criminology (8th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott.Google Scholar
  79. Szabo, E., White, V., & Hayman, J. (2006). Can home smoking restrictions influence adolescents’ smoking behaviors if their parents and friends smoke? Addictive Behaviors, 31, 2298–2303.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Urberg, K. A. (1992). Locus of peer influence: Social crowd and best friend. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 21(4), 439–450.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Urberg, K. A., Luo, Q., Pilgrim, C., & Degirmencioglu, S. M. (2003). A two-stage model of peer influence in adolescent substance use: Individual and relationship-specific differences in susceptibility to influence. Addictive Behaviors, 28, 1243–1256.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Valente, T. W., Unger, J. B., & Johnson, C. A. (2005). Do popular students smoke? The association between popularity and smoking among middle school students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37(4), 323–329.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Veenstra, R., Dijkstra, J. K., Steglich, C. E., & Van Zalk, M. H. W. (2013). Network-behavior dynamics. Jounal of Research on Adolescence, 23(3), 399–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Wang, M. Q., Fitzhugh, E. C., Westerfield, R. C., & Eddy, J. M. (1995). Family and peer influences on smoking behavior among American adolescents: An age trend. Journal of Adolescent Health, 16(3), 200–203.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Wasserman, S., & Faust, K. (1994). Social network analysis: Methods and applications. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Wills, T. A., & Cleary, S. D. (1996). How are social support effects mediated: A test with parental support and adolescent substance use. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71(5), 937–952.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Younisis, J. (1980). Parents and peers in social development: A Sullivan-Piaget perspective. Chicago, IL: Univeristy of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  88. Youniss, J., & Smollar, J. (1985). Adolescent relations with mothers, fathers, and friends. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia M. Lakon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cheng Wang
    • 1
  • Carter T. Butts
    • 2
  • Rupa Jose
    • 3
  • David S. Timberlake
    • 1
  • John R. Hipp
    • 4
  1. 1.Program in Public HealthUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Sociology, Statistics and EECSUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychology and Social BehaviorUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  4. 4.Departments of Criminology, Law and Society, and SociologyUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA

Personalised recommendations