Social networks were significantly associated with alcohol consumption among teens living in public housing and with mental distress among girls, underscoring the potential importance of networks for the health of vulnerable children.
Our Focus: Applying Network Analysis
Our work supports RAND researchers—and their clients—by applying methodological rigor to sometimes confounding questions. Here are some of our primary methods, with some examples and links.
Network analysis is a set of methods and theories that helps researchers understand relationships between and among individuals and interconnected systems, and how those relationships affect outcomes. Our researchers use network analysis to help law enforcement, promote cardiovascular health, and reduce substance use, among many other topics.
Complex Systems Analysis
Complex systems analysis allows researchers to study the component parts of a system—for example, schools in a district—and their interactions with each other and in relation to the system as a whole. We have applied complex systems analysis to topics as diverse as climate change, urban mobility, and defense resource planning.
Social Media Analysis
Social media analysis allows researchers to analyze data obtained through social media, or evaluate the social media platforms themselves, to understand how user-created online communities share information and influence members. We work with the Center for Qualitative and Mixed Methods and the Center for Scalable Computing and Analysis to develop tools to analyze social media data, understand how to fight disinformation online, and more.