An application of the Continuous Opinions and Discrete Actions (CODA) model to adolescent smoking initiation

Academic Article

Abstract

  • © 2017 Sun, Mendez. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. We investigated the impact of peers’ opinions on the smoking initiation process among adolescents. We applied the Continuous Opinions and Discrete Actions (CODA) model to study how social interactions change adolescents’ opinions and behaviors about smoking. Through agent-based modeling (ABM), we simulated a population of 2500 adolescents and compared smoking prevalence to data from 9 cohorts of adolescents in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from year 2001 till 2014. Our model adjusts well for NSDUH data according to pseudo R2 values, which are at least 96%. Optimal parameter values indicate that adolescents exhibit imitator characteristics with regard to smoking opinions. The imitator characteristics suggests that teenagers tend to update their opinions consistently according to what others do, and these opinions later translate into smoking behaviors. As a result, peer influence from social networks plays a big role in the smoking initiation process and should be an important driver in policy formulation.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • PLoS ONE  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sun R; Mendez D
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 10