I have also explored the relationship between health and social networks.
In a set of two paper published at Complexity and Simulation in Healthcare, my co-authors and I create and demonstrate the use of open-source simulation models that account for social network structures and human values in containing pandemic-like spread of viruses.
In a second set of collaborations with colleagues at Boston University’s school of public health, my co-authors and I analyze the structure and composition of social networks in three public housing developments in Boston.
Supported by two NIH R01 grants, we are collecting data at several time points to evaluate the evolution of networks and homophily on health-related outcomes over time. The first paper (published at BMC Public Health) using these data show that social networks on public housing residents are homophilous on oral health, weight perception, and consumption of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages. The findings suggest that network- rather than individual-based health interventions are appropriate in dense low-income housing contexts.
In ongoing work, we are investigating determinants of health-based homophily, the evolution of networks over time, as well as implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on tie-disruption in public housing contexts.