There has been increasing recognition in recent years of the need for a social network approach to the study of the role of peers in teenagers’ substance use (Ennett and Bauman, 1993: 234; Bauman and Ennett, 1994: 820; 1996: 191). A number of researchers, including Ennett and Bauman (1993), have examined the importance of the social position of teenagers among their peers to their substance use (Michell and Amos, 1997; Pearson and Michell, 2000; Fang et al., 2003; Pearson and West, 2003). These researchers have, like Ennett and Bauman (1993), focussed on the social position of teenagers in cliques, liaisons and isolates or on a variation of those social positions, group members (in cliques), peripherals and relative isolates (Pearson and Michell, 2000). Clique data include small numbers of teenagers, typically around five. As it has become increasingly clear that it is not possible to address the peer influence and selection question adequately with clique data, researchers have indicated that complete network data are needed to address these questions (Ennett and Bauman, 1993; Haynie, 2001). Ideally the complete network data should be longitudinal.
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