Special Presentation Sponsored by Biobehavioral and Social Sciences Research
Liesbeth Mercken, PhD
School for Public Health and Primary Care
Talk Title: The dynamics of friendship networks and smoking among youngsters:
A longitudinal social network analysis
September 20, 2010 – 10:00am
The Arizona Cancer Center
Video-Conference: College of Medicine Phoenix
Dr. Liesbeth Mercken is a Fellow on the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University, Netherlands. Before that, she was a research associate at the Cardiff Institute for Society and Health part of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Cardiff University.
Dr. Mercken’s research is broadly focused on the role of social networks on health. More specifically, she studied social influences (where individuals adapt their behavior to that of their friends) and selection processes (where individuals choose and change friends) in the context of smoking behavior among adolescents. This research was path-breaking because it was the first to disentangle these processes in a convincing way.
Dr. Mercken also collaborates on an NIH funded project funded to the Arizona Cancer Center at the University of Arizona. This project is designed to better understand network and communication mechanisms by which stakeholders in an existing and well-defined tobacco control network – the North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC) – interact, share new knowledge, make decisions, and adopt evidence-based practices to improve quitline outcomes. She is leading the integrative analyses and longitudinal analyses parts of the project.