Social Networks in Epidemiology

Social Networks in Epidemiology - Social Network...

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Social Network Visualization in Epidemiology (Article begins on next page) Citation Christakis, Nicholas A., and James H. Fowler. 2009. Social network visualization in epidemiology. Norsk Epidemiologi 19(1): 5-16. Published Version http://www.ntnu.no/ojs/index.php/norepid/index Accessed October 23, 2011 1:30:11 AM EDT Citable Link http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4276348 Terms of Use This article was downloaded from Harvard University's DASH repository, and is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of- use#OAP
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Social Network Visualization - 1 - Social Network Visualization in Epidemiology Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. James H. Fowler, Ph.D. Affiliations: Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School; Department of Medicine, Mt. Auburn Hospital, Harvard Medical School; and Department of Sociology, Harvard University (NAC); and Department of Political Science, University of California, San Diego (JHF). Running Head: “Social Network Visualization” Word Count: 6,151 Correspondence: Nicholas A. Christakis Department of Health Care Policy Harvard Medical School 180 Longwood Ave. Boston, MA 02115 (617) 432-5890 christakis@hcp.med.harvard.edu Acknowledgements: Supported by NIH/NIA P-01 AG-031093.
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Social Network Visualization - 2 - Abstract Epidemiological investigations and interventions are increasingly focusing on social networks. Two aspects of social networks are relevant in this regard: the structure of networks and the function of networks. A better understanding of the processes that determine how networks form and how they operate with respect to the spread of behavior holds promise for improving public health. Visualizing social networks is a key to both research and interventions. Network images supplement statistical analyses and allow the identification of groups of people for targeting, the identification of central and peripheral individuals, and the clarification of the macro-structure of the network in a way that should affect public health interventions. People are inter-connected and so their health is inter-connected. Inter-personal health effects in social networks provide a new foundation for public health.
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Social Network Visualization - 3 - A person with more friends and social contacts generally has better health than a person with fewer friends,[1,2,3] and a person at the center of a network is more susceptible to both the benefits and risks of social connection (e.g., for infectious disease) than those at the periphery of a network.[4,5,6] People are thus affected by their location in a social network. In addition, and distinctly, they are influenced by behaviors and outcomes in people who are “nearby” them in the network (including their friends, friends of friends, and so on). It is not just how connected a person is, but also who a person is connected to, and what those people are doing, that has an effect. Indeed, social
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Social Networks in Epidemiology - Social Network...

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