“I Want to Be Cool”: Peer Influence on Sexual Behavior, Consumption of Alcohol and Smoking of Cigarettes among High School Students in Ghana
Fafanyo Asiseh, North Carolina A and T State University
Andrew Owusu, Middle Tennessee State University
This study used a unique data set of high school students in Ghana to analyze the effect of peers on adolescent engagement in sex, consumption of alcohol and smoking of cigarettes. The study used both school and zone fixed effects to control for endogeniety. Results from the study indicated that peers have a significant effect on adolescent engagement in sex, consumption of alcohol and smoking of cigarettes. The study also finds that the effect was greatest with sex and smallest with smoking. Other factors such as living with both parents reduced the probability of the adolescent engaging in risky behaviors. Adolescents who reported to be sometimes lonely were more likely to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. A policy implication of our study is that increasing awareness on sex, and other risky behaviors among adolescents will help curb the high incidence of substance use and risky sex behaviors in the country.