Research & Resources

Exploring how social networks affect alcohol use in adults

Social network characteristics may shed light on risk and protective factors for alcohol use in adults. Researchers conducted a systematic review, examining relevant pieces of scientific literature to see if there were overarching patterns in determining what the field still needs to learn. They found that most studies were conducted with young adults in college settings or were longitudinal studies, following adolescents into adulthood. Although the different studies used a variety of methods, all found statistically significant results between social network-related factors and alcohol consumption in young adulthood. Researchers still know very little about the relationship between social networks and drinking in older age groups.The paper, “Using social network analysis to examine alcohol use among adults: A systematic review,” was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It was published in the journal PLOS ONE.