Advanced statistical analysis to benefit research on at-risk teens in Maine

Rebecca Schwartz-Mette, assistant professor of psychology, and two Ph.D. students in clinical psychology — Melissa Jankowski and Hannah Lawrence — attended the SIENA Winter School in Zurich, Switzerland, a four-day course in longitudinal social network analysis. The advanced statistical approach can be used to examine peer influence within social networks. A UMaine Regular Faculty Research Award funded the trip and a research study beginning this spring with at-risk adolescents in Maine to examine peer influence in depression and associated health-risk behaviors, such as self-injury and suicide. The statistical approach will allow the researchers to more precisely statistically examine peer influence effects in adolescent social networks.