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Social Network Positions and Smoking Experimentation Among Chinese Adolescents

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Objective: To explore the relationship between peer social network positions and smoking experimentation among Chinese adolescents. Methods: Self-administered questionnaires were administered to 1040 adolescents in grades 6, 8, and 10. Paired-friendship linkages were used to assign participants into 3 mutually exclusive social network positions. Results: Overall isolates were more likely to have experimented with cigarettes than were group members or liaisons. However, among male 10th graders, more group members or liaisons had smoked than isolates. Conclusions: Smoking experimentation differs by social position, particularly among older adolescents. The association of social position with smoking experimentation could not be explained completely by traditional peer-related variables.

Keywords: China; adolescents; cigarette smoking; smoking experimentation; social network

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China. 2: Department of Pediatrics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

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