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The Levinson Emerging Scholars Program

Teague Henry - Psychology

Teague HenryTeague Henry is interested in the methodology currently used to study psychology phenomena, specifically methods used to study social networks from a psychology perspective. After joining Kevin Kingís lab during his sophomore year, he has been involved in a variety of projects investigating the role of impulsivity on substance use. The project funded by the Levinson will investigate the role of peers on individuals substance use. Currently, Teague is a senior working towards a major in psychology, with minors in mathematics and philosophy. He hopes to pursue a graduate degree in quantitative psychology, and continue to research and develop analytical techniques to investigate more complex problems in psychology.

Mentor: Kevin King, Psychology

Project Title: Context and Peer Influence on Adolescent Substance Use

Abstract: Adolescent substance use is a significant public health issue in America. Research has established that one of the best predictors of adolescent substance use is peer substance use. One of the processes that lead to this similarity in behavior is peer influence. Previous research has established that several factors, such as self-regulation, moderate an individualís susceptibility to peer influence. However, little research has been done as to the effect of peer network characteristics and contextual characteristics on susceptibility to peer influence. The proposed study will investigate the effects of self-regulation alongside with peer network characteristics and contextual variables on susceptibility to peer influence. This study will use the Add Health dataset, a nationally representative longitudinal survey of adolescents. The data will be analyzed in a multi-level framework to simultaneously determine the effect of individual characteristics, peer network characteristics and contextual characteristics. Findings of this analysis will provide insight about the role of both environmental context and social context in determining an individualís susceptibility to peer influence in regard to substance use.