Net4Health: social networks and adolescent health
Social networks and friendship groups are important factors related to the development of health risk and health promoting behaviours, mental health and wellbeing, educational attainment, and positive social engagement in adolescence and early adulthood.
The MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit has been studying adolescent social networks and health in the West of Scotland for several decades. The Teenage Friends and Lifestyles (1995), Peers and Levels of Stress (2006), and Adolescent Lifestyles in Contemporary Europe (2011) studies have been a rich source of information on the health needs of Scotland's younger citizens and have helped to identify how risk factors have changed over time.
Net4Health will continue from the previous studies and aims to understand how peer and social network influences on adolescent health operate in the West of Scotland today, and how these influences have changed, particularly in relation to mental health and wellbeing and within changing digital social environments. It is hoped that this study will provide information that will inform the appropriate design of social network interventions to improve health and wellbeing.