I appreciate the helpful comments of Drs. John Light, Mark Van Ryzin, Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, and René Veenstra on an earlier version of this commentary, and Cheryl Mikkola for her careful editorial support.
Stochastic Agent-Based Modeling of Influence and Selection in Adolescence: Current Status and Future Directions in Understanding the Dynamics of Peer Contagion
Article first published online: 19 AUG 2013
© 2013 The Author. Journal of Research on Adolescence © 2013 Society for Research on Adolescence
Journal of Research on Adolescence
Special Issue: Network and Behavior Dynamics in Adolescence
Volume 23, Issue 3, pages 596–603, September 2013
How to Cite
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: 596–603. doi: 10.1111/jora.12068
- Issue published online: 19 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 19 AUG 2013
This commentary focuses on the theoretical issues raised in this special issue. It is argued that both selection and influence in peer social networks reflect a process of peer contagion. The findings from the special issue studies are briefly reviewed. Some suggestions for future research are made, including the use of multilevel models that integrate interpersonal dynamics with peer network change as well as the use of natural and randomized experimentation to test hypotheses regarding the influence of contexts such as schools on the formation of peer networks. It is hoped that research on peer network can eventually be applied to the design of environments that promote a variety of health behaviors and peer support.