PEER INFLUENCE ON OBESITY-RELATED HEALTH RISK BEHAVIORS AND BODY MASS INDEX— A NATURAL EXPERIMENT OF RANDOMLY-ASSIGNED COLLEGE ROOMMATES Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Chen, Daowen
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
Abstract
  • Finding the association between social network and obesity has oftentimes been impeded by the homophily problem. However, by using a large randomly-assigned college roommate dataset this study attempts to rule out the peer/self-selection and examine peer influence on college students’ Body Mass Index and obesity-related health risk behaviors including sugary beverage intake and physical exercise. In addition, this study investigates gender difference in peer influence and the association between peer effect and self’s predisposition. The results suggest that while females are more influenced by their peer’s sugary beverage drinking, males are more likely to be influenced by their peer’s physical exercise participation. Also, the study finds that peer effect on obesity-related health behaviors is larger for those who had the predisposition prior to college than those who did not. This study provides a better understanding of the association of social network and obesity and offers further guidance for policy implementation.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Guo, Guang
Degree
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
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Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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