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Peer clustering of exercise and eating behaviours among young adults in Sweden: a cross-sectional study of egocentric network data

Författare:
  • Kieron J. Barclay
  • Christofer Edling
  • Jens Rydgren
Publiceringsår: 2013
Språk: Engelska
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: BMC Public Health
Volym: 13
Nummer: 794
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: BioMed Central

Abstract english

Background: Research suggests that the growing prevalence of obesity may be related to the influence of the health behaviours of peers. We look at clustering of exercise and eating behaviours amongst a previously unstudied group, young adults in Sweden. Previous research has mainly been conducted in the United States and Britain, countries that have relatively high rates of obesity. Methods: Using ego-alter dyads from the egocentric network data as the unit of analysis, we conduct logistic regressions to investigate the association between ego and alter exercise and eating behaviours. Results: Respondents have a significantly greater probability of engaging in regular exercise and eating healthily if a nominated peer also does so. Furthermore, the degree to which this behavior is shared is modulated by the strength of the relationship between the two individuals, with a greater probability of engaging in these behaviours observed when the relationship with the nominated peer is strong relative to when the relationship is weak. However, we find that ego-alter homogeneity in terms of gender and migration status was not associated with a significantly greater probability of behaving in a similar manner to a nominated peer. Furthermore, the status of the nominated peer as a relative or not did not impact the probability that the ego would engage in similar health behaviours to that alter. Conclusions: We observe strong associations between ego and alter health behaviours for young adults, consistent with previous research. Although we cannot draw causal inferences, these results suggest that the health behaviours of an individual's peers may play a role in shaping their own health behaviours.

Keywords

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Social networks
  • Egocentric data
  • Social clustering of health behaviours

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1471-2458
Christofer Edling
E-post: christofer.edling [at] soc.lu.se

Prodekan

Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten

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Professor

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Bakgrund

Jag disputerade 1999 vid Stockholms Universitet (Essays on Social Dynamics, 1998) med Peter Hedström som handledare. Mellan 2002 och 2005 var jag Torgny Segerstedt Pro Futura Fellow vid Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) i Uppsala.

2003 blev jag docent i sociologi, och 2004 universitetslektor, vid Stockholms Universitet, där jag var prefekt vid Sociologiska institutionen 2006 till 2008.

Jag flyttade till en professur vid Jacobs University Bremen i Tyskland 2008 och rekryterades till Lunds universitet som professor 2012.

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