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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634

Abstract

RAMIREZ-ORTIZ, Guadalupe; CABALLERO-HOYOS, Ramiro; RAMIREZ-LOPEZ, Guadalupe  and  VALENTE, Thomas W. The effects of social networks on tobacco use among high-school adolescents in Mexico. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2012, vol.54, n.4, pp. 433-441. ISSN 0036-3634.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342012000400014.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the effect of centrality in social network positions on tobacco-use among high-school adolescents in Tonala, Jalisco, Mexico. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Longitudinal sociometric social network data were collected among 486 high-school adolescents in 2003 and 399 in 2004. The survey included: social network components, smoking and sociodemographic characteristics. Social network measures of centrality were calculated and multivariate logistic regression was used. RESULTS: Ever used tobacco (OR= 44.98), marginalized-low stratum (OR= 2.16) and in-degree (OR=1.10) predicted tobacco use. Out-degree (OR= 0 .89) and out-in-degree (OR= 0.90) protected against tobacco use. CONCLUSION: Nominating more friends rather than receiving such nominations was protective for tobacco use. Popular students, those receiving many nominations, were at higher risk for tobacco use. Involvement of leaders with capacity to influence might be an efficient strategy for dissemination of preventive messages.

Keywords : social networks; tobacco use; adolescents; centrality; friendship; peer pressure.

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