Academic journal article Merrill-Palmer Quarterly

Indonesian Muslim Adolescents' Use of Tobacco and Alcohol: Associations with Use by Friends and Network Affiliates

Academic journal article Merrill-Palmer Quarterly

Indonesian Muslim Adolescents' Use of Tobacco and Alcohol: Associations with Use by Friends and Network Affiliates

Article excerpt

The objectives of this longitudinal study were to predict the tobacco and alcohol use of Indonesian Muslim adolescents from their religiosity and the substance use of friends and network affiliates. At Year 1, there were 996 participants from eighth grade (n = 507, age = 13.4 years) and 10th grade (n = 489, age = 15.4); 875 were followed into the next grade. Friends and network affiliates were respectively identified by mutual selection and social cognitive mapping. Logistic regression analyses revealed that tobacco use was predicted at both Years 1 and 2 by friends' use, whereas network affiliates' use predicted individual use with the exception of girls at Year 2. Boys' alcohol use was uniquely predicted by network affiliates' but not friends' use at both years, whereas girls' use was not predicted by either friends' or network affiliates' use. Involvement with boys was associated with girls' use of alcohol. Although these two types of peer associations may both be important, they may be associated in different ways with tobacco and alcohol use.

There is overwhelming evidence that peer relationships are strongly associated with alcohol and tobacco use by adolescents (e.g., Pollard, Tucker, Green, Kennedy, & Go, 2010). In studies conducted in both the United States and Europe, use of alcohol and tobacco by peers predicted both initial levels of use as well as changes over time (Ali & Dwyer, 2009). Beyond this general finding of the similarity that exists between youth and their peers, a number of specific issues demand attention (Brechwald & Prinstein, 2011), including that of the relative influence of friends and network affiliates. In the present study, we expand this research to assess this question in a population of Indonesian Muslim adolescents.

Friendship and affiliative networks. Efforts to understand the relation between peer involvement and the use of tobacco and alcohol must consider the diversity of peer relationships (Brechwald & Prinstein, 2011; West & Michell, 1999). Whereas some adolescent peer interactions occur between friends, other interactions occur within groups that may or may not include close friends, and may include friends of friends, acquaintances, and even disliked peers. We refer to these as affiliative networks because their defining characteristic is that individuals in these groups spend time together and their interactions typically focus on shared activities such as sports or academic pursuits. The provisions associated with friendships and affiliative networks likely differ. Whereas friendships may provide adolescents with close and intimate bonds, networks likely provide adolescents with companionship and opportunities to participate in shared activities. Evidence that these two relationship contexts may contribute jointly and independently to adjustment comes from Kindermann and Skinner's (2012) findings that children's academic engagement was predicted by the academic engagement of both friends and network members.

Further evidence that these two relationship contexts may contribute jointly and independently to adjustment reports comes from the study of religiosity in Indonesian Muslim adolescents. French, Purwono, and Rodkin (2012) found that Muslim Indonesian adolescents were more similar to their friends than to their network affiliates in their levels of religiosity, and that the religiosity of both friends and network affiliates predicted antisocial behavior. The finding that friend religiosity explained more unique variance than did network members' religiosity suggests the possibility that adolescents are more similar to their friends than network associates on some attributes, such as values.

Friendships are optimally defined by the mutual selection of two individuals (Bemdt & McCandless, 2009), whereas membership in affiliate networks can be identified by reports by both network members and external observers (Gest, Farmer, Cairns, & Xie, 2003). …

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