Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration



Committee Chair

Albert Okunade

Committee Member

Andrew Hussey

Committee Member

Julia Heath

Committee Member

William Kettinger


Adolescence is an important phase in one’s life since it shapes up one’s future in terms of academic, economic, behavioral, and health related outcomes, among others. The transition period between childhood and adulthood has been believed to involve major physical, social, and psychological changes which can affect future outcomes of an individual. Parental decisions are indeed important for subsequent behavior of adolescents which may also persist over time. Apart from parents, social network groups also play an important role in an adolescent’s life. Social groups may include friends, schools, neighborhoods, cultural groups, etc. and there is evidence of significant effects of social network groups on adolescent outcomes. For my dissertation, I have analyzed adolescent behavior and outcomes to be influenced by parents, peers, schools, and neighborhoods, and their persistence over time. I use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), one of the largest longitudinal surveys of a nationally representative sample of young adults who were in grades 7-12 during the initial survey wave. There were three subsequent follow-up surveys which allow me to conduct a dynamic analysis of adolescent behavior and outcomes over several years. Furthermore, the data set contains detailed information about adolescents’ personal characteristics, health, risky behaviors, daily activities, families, friends, romantic partners, schools, and neighborhood thus enabling me to analyze multiple categories of outcomes as a result of influence from these groups. In general, my results indicate that parental decisions are important in predicting academic and risk behavioral outcomes, and parental and school support are important for adolescent mental well-being.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.