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Friendship networks of inner-city adults: a latent class analysis and multi-level regression of supporter types and the association of supporter latent class membership with supporter and recipient drug use.
Bohnert AS, German D, Knowlton AR, Latkin CA. Friendship networks of inner-city adults: a latent class analysis and multi-level regression of supporter types and the association of supporter latent class membership with supporter and recipient drug use. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2010 Mar 1; 107(2-3):134-40.
BACKGROUND: Social support is a multi-dimensional construct that is important to drug use cessation. The present study identified types of supportive friends among the social network members in a community-based sample and examined the relationship of supporter-type classes with supporter, recipient, and supporter-recipient relationship characteristics. We hypothesized that the most supportive network members and their support recipients would be less likely to be current heroin/cocaine users. METHODS: Participants (n = 1453) were recruited from low-income neighborhoods with a high prevalence of drug use. Participants identified their friends via a network inventory, and all nominated friends were included in a latent class analysis and grouped based on their probability of providing seven types of support. These latent classes were included as the dependent variable in a multi-level regression of supporter drug use, recipient drug use, and other characteristics. RESULTS: The best-fitting latent class model identified five support patterns: friends who provided Little/No Support, Low/Moderate Support, High Support, Socialization Support, and Financial Support. In bivariate models, friends in the High, Low/Moderate, and Financial Support were less likely to use heroin or cocaine and had less conflict with and were more trusted by the support recipient than friends in the Low/No Support class. Individuals with supporters in those same support classes compared to the Low/No Support class were less likely to use heroin or cocaine, or to be homeless or female. Multivariable models suggested similar trends. CONCLUSIONS: Those with current heroin/cocaine use were less likely to provide or receive comprehensive support from friends.