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Peer Effects in UK Adolescent Substance Use: Never Mind the Classmates?

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  • Duncan McVicar
  • Arnold Polanski

Abstract

type="main" xml:id="obes12030-abs-0001"> This article estimates peer influences on the alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use of UK adolescents. We present evidence of large, positive and statistically significant peer effects in all three behaviours when classmates are taken as the reference group. We also find large, positive and statistically significant associations between own substance use and friends' substance use. When both reference groups are considered simultaneously, the influence of classmates either disappears or is much reduced, whereas the association between own and friends' behaviours does not change. The suggestion is that classmate behaviour is primarily relevant only inasmuch as it proxies for friends' behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Duncan McVicar & Arnold Polanski, 2014. "Peer Effects in UK Adolescent Substance Use: Never Mind the Classmates?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 76(4), pages 589-604, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:76:y:2014:i:4:p:589-604
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mendolia, Silvia & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Walker, Ian, 2016. "Heterogeneous effects of high school peers on educational outcomes," Ruhr Economic Papers 612, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. John Moriarty & Duncan McVicar & Kathryn Higgins, 2012. "Peer Effects in Adolescent Cannabis Use: It's the Friends, Stupid," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2012n27, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    3. Alfred Kechia Mukong, 2017. "Peer Networks and Tobacco Consumption in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 85(3), pages 341-367, September.
    4. Moriarty, John & McVicar, Duncan & Higgins, Kathryn, 2016. "Cross-section and panel estimates of peer effects in early adolescent cannabis use: With a little help from my ‘friends once removed’," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 37-44.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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