Alcohol and sex: friendship networks and co-occurring risky health behaviours of US adolescents Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This study examined how the structure of friendship networks influences two risk behaviours in tandem (drinking and sexual intercourse) among a sample of US adolescents (7th12th grades, n = 901; 2 schools) from Wave I of the Add Health data. For one school, adolescents in denser and smaller networks were at higher risk for engaging in sexual intercourse and drinking alcohol simultaneously. In that school, network attributes (out-degree and betweenness) and adolescents age were associated with an increased risk. In the other school, more diffused friendship networks posed less risk of engaging in these two behaviours in tandem. Moreover, engagement in risky behaviours was significantly predicted by teens age and gender. We conclude that friendships influence on adolescents risk behaviours varies, depending on size and composition of the networks and adolescents characteristics. Moreover, understanding adolescents social ties can be useful for health promoters, thus research on adolescent networks remains warranted.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Jeon, K. C., & Goodson, P.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Jeon, Kwon Chan||Goodson, Patricia

publication date

  • October 2016