Peer effects and the adolescents’ weight

QUAN Xiaojuan1 ZHU Xiaowen2 LU Chuntian2 BIAN Yanjie2

(1.School of Humanities, Economics and Law, Northwestern Polytechnical University)
(2.School of Humanities and Social Science, Xi’an Jiaotong University)

【Abstract】Using the data of China Education Panel Survey (CEPS) and regarding the internationally applicable BMI as the measurement index of body weight, this paper analyzes the influence of peer network in class on adolescents’ body weight. It is found that the higher the average BMI of the students in the class is, the higher the BMI and overweight probability of an individual will be, which indicates that the influence of peer network does exist. In the class, the interaction of the students of the same gender has greater influence than that of the students of different genders, and the interaction of the majority members has greater influence than that of the minority members, which indicates that the influence of peer network in the class is disparate. The higher the average BMI of the students in the class is, the less the individuals will perceive themselves overweight, indicating that group weight norm is the potential mechanism of peer influence. These findings provide an empirical basis for the social intervention in the spread of obesity.

【Keywords】 adolescents; weight; peer effects; disparity;


【Funds】 Scientific Research Fund of Northwestern Polytechnical University (Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities) (G2018KY0301)

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(Translated by SU Fang)


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This Article


CN: 11-3280/C

Vol , No. 04, Pages 24-33+94-95

July 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Literature review and research questions
  • 2 Theoretical perspectives and research hypotheses
  • 3 Data, variables and methods
  • 4 Research results
  • 5 Conclusion and discussion
  • Footnote