Adolescent Friendship Networks: The Role of Individual and School Characteristics

Why do adolescents choose particular friends?

The goal of the project is to advance our understanding of adolescent friendship groups. Using social network methodology, Schaefer and Simpkins will investigate how adolescents actively construct their friendships within school contexts. They propose using secondary data to identify key factors shaping the structure of adolescent friendship networks. The researchers will examine why adolescents choose particular friends by addressing two central questions: How do individual (e.g., ethnicity), school (e.g., tracking, extracurricular activities), and network processes (e.g., two adolescents who share a mutual friend) contribute to the formation of friendship networks? And, how do school characteristics (e.g., school size) influence the aforementioned processes?