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  • 00:00


  • 00:12

    LEONARD JASON: My name is Leonard Jason.I'm a professor of clinical and community psychologyat DePaul University.Networks are pervasive.They involve physical information,things like databases.They involve biological issues like neural networks.And they involve other biological networks like RNA.

  • 00:35

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: There are minimal ingredients for these social networks.And they usually involve things called people and relations.People involve egos and alters.And relations involve ties, relations, and connections.We'll be talking about all these concepts a little bit moreas we go on.[Structures and Characteristics of Social Networks]

  • 01:00

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: We're first going to give an example of the structureand characteristics of one network.In the figure that you see, thereare a number of relationships.They're a mean of 1.6 and a maximum of 3in this social network example.In terms of paths and path length, the longest is 3

  • 01:21

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: and the mean is 1.8.In terms of density, that's the connectionbetween the network members, its 0.04, which is actuallya rather large relationship.Network studies have typically beenbased on personal network data.That's also called ego networks.Personal networks are assessed by asking an individual,

  • 01:42

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: and we refer to that person as the ego,to identify his or her relationships.And we call those alters.And alters can be close friends, family members,or work associates.This identification allows the investigatorto infer that the same person is beingnamed in successive assessment occasions.

  • 02:04

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: Personal ego network methodology offers much greater detailin measuring social contexts compared to simple summaryratings.For example, you can see the ties or connectionswith the friends, like the alters, or the personor the ego that support drinking or abstinence.

  • 02:24

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: If a lot of the person's friends or altersare using substances or drinking or drugs,it's more likely that that person will alsobe using drugs or drinking.Network approaches have remained limited largely to studiesof personal networks.That is, the personal friendshipsor other significant relationshipsreported by study participants.

  • 02:46

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: Personal networks, however, do notinclude the relationships of named individualswith each other.In contrast, whole networks do includethe relationships of named individuals with each other.In other words, a personal networkinvolves a person and a group just rating all othersin the group.Whereas a whole network involves a person in the group rating

  • 03:09

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: not only all of other group members,but also being rated by others.So a child might rate how much supporthe or she feels from each friend for refraining from smoking.This is an important piece of information.But it doesn't tell us whether his or her friends actuallysupport this youth's efforts to not smoke, nor how

  • 03:30

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: they perceive the relationship.In contrast, a whole network approachwould have every member of the network rate eachother on relationship issues such as supportfor not smoking.Whole network approaches provide a relationship mapof an entire social ecosystem, capturingeach individual's perspective.

  • 03:50

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: And it becomes possible to model howthese potentially differing perspectives interact as timegoes on.A whole network approach can providea methodological framework for thinking about and describingtwo way transactional dynamics.Work in this area is part of whatis considered systems research.

  • 04:10

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: And that interest centers on how micro level mechanisms, howwe both influence and are influenced by others,aggregate to the macro system leveland then feed back to the micro system levelin an ongoing causal loop.[How can networks be used?]

  • 04:31

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: So how can networks be used?Here's an example.Recovering people with substance use disordersface many obstacles to maintaining abstinence.As an example, a drop out is commonfrom detoxification and acute treatment.Many people who finish treatment relapse.This cycle is often repeated frequentlywith high personal and social costs.

  • 04:54

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: So it's becoming increasingly clearthat detoxification and treatmentprograms are insufficient to ensure abstinencefrom drugs and alcohol.For most people with substance use disorders,continued long term support following treatmentis necessary.Environmental factors are key contributorsto maintaining abstinence after treatment.These factors include the amount and type of support one

  • 05:17

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: receives for abstinence.Individuals who participate in aftercare servicessustain abstinence for a longer period of time.So this is where we get into social networks.Social networks, in many different situations,predict treatment outcomes.Let's give some examples.Network size, the larger your network

  • 05:38

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: size, the larger daily network peopleyou associate with, the less overall drinking and druguse occurs.Let's look at another thing, abstinence-specific support.In other words, the people who basically are surrounding you,if they basically are telling you,it's probably not a good thing to be drinking or using drugs,that person has fewer days drinking.

  • 06:02

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: Or network drinking or drug use.If the people you're surrounded byare drinking and doing a lot of drug use,you will end up having more cocaineuse and more frequent drinking.[What types of environments are beneficial?]For substance use disorders, one couldask what types of environments might be beneficial.

  • 06:24

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: Well, for example, let's look at recovery houses.Recovery houses are social networksthat evolve based on both structural tendenciesand network members' characteristics.This allows us to leverage the inherent advantagesof social networks to represent the social ecologyof relationships, along with recent advances in modelingsuch systems.

  • 06:44

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: Oxford houses are one type of recovery home in the UnitedStates.There's over 1,800 of these self-help recovery homes.They have housed over the last year 25,000 people in recovery.And really, these houses just have three rules.You have to not use substances.You have to pay your weekly bills, which is about $100

  • 07:06

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: a week.And you have to follow the rules of the houseand participate in good governance.That's it.If you live there, you can spend as longas you want for the rest of your life in these recovery homes.So they are permanent housing for people in recovery.[Research Findings]

  • 07:26

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: We basically have done research with this particular model,where some people got Oxford House recovery homes,some people didn't.And we followed them over two years.And this is what we found.31% of the participants assigned to the Oxford housereported substance use two years later,but 65% of controls, that's twice as manyof those who didn't get Oxford House.

  • 07:47

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: 76% of Oxford House participants versus 49% of controlstwo years later were employed.In involved illegal activities, twice as many peoplein the control condition as versus the Oxford Houseswere doing these types of illegal activities.By identifying mechanisms through whichsocial environments affect health outcomes

  • 08:07

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: and looking at system level evolution,this approach could contribute to reducing health care costsby improving the effectiveness of the residential recoveryhome system in our country, United States, and alsorestructuring and improving other community basedrecovery settings.Yet, early dropout from these homescan occur due to a new resident's failure

  • 08:29

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: to become integrated into recovery house social ecology.We found, for example, the single best predictorof why a person stays in this recovery homesis if a person has a friend.If they can make a friend in this new Oxford House recoveryhome, they tend to stay in the house.And they tend to stay abstinent.We've also found that residents who live in the house

  • 08:49

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: longer time periods of time are more likely to be trusted.We also find that friendships become reciprocated over time.So that trust predicted formationof even more confident and mentorship relationships.So these are some of the things we've found.But we also found that if you havea confidant or a mentorship relationship,

  • 09:09

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: it's not necessarily reciprocated.What we're doing with this type of researchis called stochastic actor-oriented model.Person name Snijders invented this.It provides a statistical framework for modeling,whereby social networks are conceptualizedas a set of individuals whose relationshipsevolve over time according to an underlying probability

  • 09:31

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: structure.[Example]The questions that are really important for usas social scientists is to understandhow do we get away from just looking at individuals?Individuals are important, but really, their social context,their social networks are so important to them.

  • 09:53

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: For example, when people come outof jail or prison, what's most importantis do they have a safe place to be around.Are they going to be with people whoare using substance use or not?Are they going to be around people who are working or not?So what we need to understand is notjust individuals who are being released from jail or prison,but also their social context.So not just with people coming out of jail and prison,

  • 10:15

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: but with many of our social problems.The question is how do we understand thingsthat involve social networks?How do we understand basically whatis influencing individual's abilityto stay with a particular behavior change effortor to basically stay in a sense a particular program?What we're looking for is trying to go beyond the individual

  • 10:37

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: and to understand the influences on the individual, whichare so important.So the individual gets influencedby their environment.And their environment then influences them.And it's a reciprocal process.And the more we can understand that dynamicand how it evolves over time, the more wecan have a better chance of solvingmany of our difficult social problemsthat face our country today.

  • 10:58

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: Now Sarah Callahan, a graduate studentin the community psychology programat DePaul University, who's been workingwith me for the last few years on social network research,she's going to show how basically the social networkresearch paradigm can be used for us to understandhow individuals with heroin addiction can change over time.

  • 11:18

    SARAH CALLAHAN: Hi, my name is Sarah Callahan.And I'm a doctoral student at DePaul University.And I work at the Center for Community Researchwith Lenny Jason.I am going to give you an example of howwe can use social network research to investigatethe recovery process and communityre-entry after incarceration.There's a limited body of social network research with people

  • 11:40

    SARAH CALLAHAN [continued]: re-entering the community after incarcerationand after treatment from substance abuse.It can be very difficult to reestablish tieswith other people upon release, which creates barriersto identifying and mobilizing the capital neededfor successful re-entry outcomes.There's a key unanswered question.How do the personal networks of formerly incarcerated substance

  • 12:02

    SARAH CALLAHAN [continued]: abusers develop after release?[Study Sample]For this project, we used an NIH data setof 270 individuals who were recentlyreleased from jail or prison.Most of the participants were recruitedfrom in-patient treatment centers in Chicagoon or before their last day of treatment.

  • 12:22

    SARAH CALLAHAN [continued]: All the participants were treated ethicallyand responsibly, and participation was voluntary.For this study sample, we used five womenwho reported high HIV risk behaviors like needle sharingand prostitution.We used their demographic informationand the important person inventory.The average age of the participants was 38.They were all African-American.

  • 12:43

    SARAH CALLAHAN [continued]: They had an average of seven convictionsand about two years recently spent in the justice system.These figures show an example of howa network can change throughout the recovery process.For this participant, you can see that in wave onethere's not much kind of connectivity throughoutthe network, which means that they're notcommunicating much with the important peoplein their lives.However, after going through substance abuse treatment

  • 13:05

    SARAH CALLAHAN [continued]: and spending at least six months in an Oxford House,in wave five you can see that there's much morekind connectivity throughout the network,and that this individual is communicatingmuch more with the people that are important to themin their lives.Here's another example of how a network canchange throughout the recovery process.For these graphs, pay particular attentionto the colors of the nodes.In wave one you can see mostly red nodes are in this network.

  • 13:29

    SARAH CALLAHAN [continued]: Red represents individuals who are using substancesand green or blue represent individuals who are not.In wave five you can see that most of the nodesare blue, which means that this participant has reducedthe number of drug users in their networkafter spending at least six months in an Oxford house.In our five participants sampled,we saw some pretty dramatic changes in the average network

  • 13:51

    SARAH CALLAHAN [continued]: characteristics from wave one to wave five.The number of alters increased from 5.33 in wave oneto 7 in wave five.The number of heroin users decreased from 4.33 in waveone to 1.67 in wave five.And finally, in wave one we had about 33%of the alters named being family members.

  • 14:11

    SARAH CALLAHAN [continued]: And in wave five we had 47.6%.[Findings]So what does this all mean?The retention of family members from wave one to wave fiveis indicative of the salience of family relationshipsduring the recovery process.Family provides social, emotional,

  • 14:33

    SARAH CALLAHAN [continued]: and financial capital for people in recoveryas they struggle to re-enter the community.Thus, future interventions shouldbe inclusive of family members to strengthen and repairthese relationships.Our results also suggest the egos report stronger bondswith non-using alters when they themselves are not using drugs.This suggests that relationships thatare damaged or waning due to substance abuse

  • 14:55

    SARAH CALLAHAN [continued]: can be repaired and strengthened.And this change is related to the abstinence of the ego.Our structural analysis show relatively stable degreedistributions and transitivity across the waves.Networks did have increases in densityover wave one and wave five.And this indicates that density could be a positive networkdevelopment during the recovery process.

  • 15:15

    SARAH CALLAHAN [continued]: Thus, mutual help systems like Oxford House and NarcoticsAnonymous can facilitate the increase of network densityby affording individuals access to large, supportive networkswhere people make new friends who all know each otherand interact regularly and intimately.In conclusion, we can see that spending at least six monthsin an Oxford House can have great benefits

  • 15:36

    SARAH CALLAHAN [continued]: for an individual's social network.

  • 15:38

    LEONARD JASON: Sarah and I have beentalking about social networks and what theyadd to the field of psychology.But here are some of the unanswered questionsthat need to be examined.How can we move a person's centered psychologythat just focuses on individuals to one thatinvolves understanding the social context in whichindividuals are embedded?If many social problems are due to individuals

  • 16:00

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: who are within inadequate social networks,a revolutionary question for you ishow do we shift efforts to buildingsupportive social networks?A person coming out of prison with a substance use disorderneeds more than one hour a week of counseling,which is often all they get.In contrast, how do we rethink our efforts in social networkterms to provide these vulnerable individuals

  • 16:22

    LEONARD JASON [continued]: safe housing, jobs, and abstinent friendship networks?Finally, many college age studentsare exposed to social networks thatare filled with dangerous and high riskbehaviors such as binge drinking and drug abuse.How do we make use of social network methodsto make the college experience safer?[MUSIC PLAYING]

Video Info

Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd

Publication Year: 2017

Video Type:Video Case

Methods: Social network analysis

Keywords: friendship; heroin abuse; network for the improvement of addiction treatment; practices, strategies, and tools; rehabilitation; Substance abuse; Substance abuse treatment; Support groups ... Show More

Segment Info

Segment Num.: 1

Persons Discussed:

Events Discussed:



Professor Leonard Jason and student Sarah Callahan discuss social networks and the impact social networks can have on substance abuse recovery. Networks can help people recovering from an addiction by supporting abstinence. Jason and Callahan discuss the Oxford House, the research they have done, and their findings.

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Researching Substance Use & Recovery Using Social Network Analysis

Professor Leonard Jason and student Sarah Callahan discuss social networks and the impact social networks can have on substance abuse recovery. Networks can help people recovering from an addiction by supporting abstinence. Jason and Callahan discuss the Oxford House, the research they have done, and their findings.

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