students who were not new to the college. Thus, it may be that the number of friends beyond those considered close is an important influence; and it may be that networks of on-campus friends require more time to develop as effective influences on academic performance.
Two other findings in the current study are indirectly supportive of the interpretation that the influence of the students' on-campus network of close friends may take more time to evolve. First, although the prior study showed no effect for off-campus networks of friends or for family, in the current study there is a negative relationship between household size and GPA for all but black students; and for the black students, who alone have a high proportion of large-dense on-campus networks -- suggesting that they predate college -- this network variable is positively associated with GPA. Both of these findings may indicate that this early in their college lives, students are still more strongly affected by their prior but ongoing ties than by the new ones they are beginning to form.
It may be the case that during the first semester the student is more concerned with trying to find an appropriate social network to belong to than with using networks as a source of support. The low rate of reciprocity in these early social networks suggests that they are as yet fairly unstable. The examination of second-year networks may provide evidence of increased academic support of these networks.
Crouse R. H. ( 1982). Peer network therapy: An intervention with the social climate of students in residence halls. Journal of College Student Personnel, 23, 105-108.
Evan W. M. ( 1963). Peer-group interaction and organizational socialization: A study of employee turnover. American Sociological Review, 28, 436-440.
Jackson R. M., Fischer C. S., and Jones L. M. ( 1977). The dimensions of social networks. In C. S. Fischer (Ed.), Networks and places: Social relations in the urban setting (pp. 39- 58). New York: Free Press.
Lavin D. E., Protash W., Kramer R., and Bhouraskar G. ( 1983). Socioeconomic origins and educational background of an entering class at CUNY: A comparison of regular and special program enrollees. New York: City University of N.Y., Office of Institutional Research and Analysis.
Pervin L., Reik L., and Dalrymple W. ( 1966). The college dropout and the utilization of talent. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Ramist L. ( 1981). College student attrition and retention. College Board Report No. 81-1. New York: College Entrance Examination Board.
Rootman I. ( 1972). Voluntary withdrawal from a total adult socialization organization: a model. Sociology of Education, 45, 258-270.
Scott J. ( 1971). A study of the relationship between student personal perception of environmental press and attrition in a 2-year college. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Missouri, Columbia.