Peer Effects in UK Adolescent Substance Use: Never Mind the Classmates?
AbstractThis paper estimates peer influences on the alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use of a school based sample of UK 15 year olds. We present evidence of large, positive and statistically significant peer effects in all three behaviours when classmates are taken as the reference group. When friends are taken as the reference group, using self-reports of perceived friends’ substance use, we also find large, positive and statistically significant associations with own substance use. When both reference groups are considered simultaneously, the influence of classmates on own behaviour either disappears or is much reduced in magnitude, whereas the association between own and friends’ behaviours doesn’t change. The suggestion is that classmate behaviour is primarily relevant only inasmuch as it proxies for friends’ behaviour, with classmates that are not also friends having relatively little influence on adolescent substance use.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2012n08.
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
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Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
More information through EDIRC
Peer effects; reference groups; smoking; alcohol; cannabis; adolescents; friends;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
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