Strengthening prevention program theories and evaluations: contributions from social network analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A majority of school-based prevention programs target the modification of setting-level social dynamics, either explicitly (e.g., by changing schools' organizational, cultural or instructional systems that influence children's relationships), or implicitly (e.g., by altering behavioral norms designed to influence children's social affiliations and interactions). Yet, in outcome analyses of these programs, the rich and complicated set of peer network dynamics is often reduced to an aggregation of individual characteristics or assessed with methods that do not account for the interdependencies of network data. In this paper, we present concepts and analytic methods from the field of social network analysis and illustrate their great value to prevention science--both as a source of tools for refining program theories and as methods that enable more sophisticated and focused tests of intervention effects. An additional goal is to inform discussions of the broader implications of social network analysis for public health efforts.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gest, SD; Osgood, DW; Feinberg, ME; Bierman, KL; Moody, J

Published Date

  • December 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 349 - 360

PubMed ID

  • 21728069

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3222146

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-6695

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1389-4986

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11121-011-0229-2


  • eng