Popularity Trajectories and Substance Use in early Adolescence

Soc Networks. 2011 May;33(2):101-112. doi: 10.1016/j.socnet.2010.10.001.


This paper introduces new longitudinal network data from the "Promoting School-Community-University Partnerships to Enhance Resilience" or "PROSPER" peers project. In 28 communities, grade-level sociometric friendship nominations were collected from two cohorts of middle school students as they moved from 6(th), to 9(th) grade. As an illustration and description of these longitudinal network data, this paper describes the school popularity structure, changes in popularity position, and suggests linkages between popularity trajectory and substance use. In the cross-section, we find that the network is consistent with a hierarchical social organization, but exhibits considerable relational change in both particular friends and position at the individual level. We find that both the base level of popularity and the variability of popularity trajectories effect substance use.