Network Interventions for Changing Physical Activity Behaviour in Preadolescents.
Nat Hum Behav
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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Proestakis, A., di Sorrentino, E. P., Brown, H., Van Sluijs, E., Mani, A., Caldeira, S., & Herrmann, B. (2018). Network Interventions for Changing Physical Activity Behaviour in Preadolescents.. Nat Hum Behav, 2 (10), 778-787. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-018-0436-y
Network interventions can help achieve behavioural change by inducing peer-pressure in the network. However, inducing peer-pressure without considering the structure of the existing social network may render the intervention ineffective or weaker. In a 7-week school-based field experiment using preadolescents' physical activity (PA) as a proxy for estimating behavioural change, we test the hypothesis that boys' and girls' distinct networks are susceptible to different social incentives. We run three different social-rewards schemes, in which classmates' rewards depend on the PA of two friends either reciprocally (directly or indirectly) or collectively. Compared to a random-rewards control, social-rewards schemes had an overall significantly positive effect on PA (51.8% increase), with females being more receptive to the direct reciprocity scheme (76.4%) and males to team (collective) rewards (131.5%). Differences in the sex-specific sub-networks can explain these findings. Network interventions adapted to the network-specific characteristics may constitute a powerful tool for behavioural change.
Wellcome Trust (087636/Z/08/Z)
Economic and Social Research Council (ES/G007462/1)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12015/7)
Medical Research Council (MR/K023187/1)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-018-0436-y
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/285481