Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Terms and Conditions set out at http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/onlineopen#OnlineOpen_Terms
The analysis of social network data: an exciting frontier for statisticians†
Article first published online: 30 SEP 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Statistics in Medicine
Volume 32, Issue 4, pages 539–555, 20 February 2013
How to Cite
O'Malley, A. J. (2013), The analysis of social network data: an exciting frontier for statisticians. Statist. Med., 32: 539–555. doi: 10.1002/sim.5630
This article was published online on 30 September 2012. An error in the Figure 5 image and on text on page 4 lines 46-47 were subsequently identified. This notice is included in the online and print versions to indicate that both have been corrected on November 22, 2012.
- Issue published online: 23 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 30 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Received: 30 JAN 2012
- NIH. Grant Number: P01 AG031093
- peer effect;
- social influence;
- social selection
The catalyst for this paper is the recent interest in the relationship between social networks and an individual's health, which has arisen following a series of papers by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler on person- to-person spread of health behaviors. In this issue, they provide a detailed explanation of their methods that offers insights, justifications, and responses to criticisms . In this paper, we introduce some of the key statistical methods used in social network analysis and indicate where those used by Christakis and Fowler (CF) fit into the general framework. The intent is to provide the background necessary for readers to be able to make their own evaluation of the work by CF and understand the challenges of research involving social networks. We entertain possible solutions to some of the difficulties encountered in accounting for confounding effects in analyses of peer effects and provide comments on the contributions of CF. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.