Validation of tie corroboration and reported alter characteristics among a sample of young men who have sex with men

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The differences between direct ties (i.e., ties between a respondent and their nominees) and ties between nominees (indirect) are key to understanding network structure, yet remain understudied. Within a sample of 175 young men who have sex with men, we explored the corroboration of sex and drug ties, and factors associated with corroboration. The majority of instances in which there was no corroboration for either sex or drug ties was due to one individual not appearing in another respondent's network. When an individual did appear in another respondent's network, direct sex and drug ties were corroborated in most cases. We also found that more indirect sex ties were corroborated than direct sex ties (95.7% vs. 88.9%), but the reverse was true for indirect versus direct drug ties (73.1% vs. 84.1%). Strength of relationship and frequency of communication were both associated with confirmed direct ties, but not with indirect ties. Based on these findings, we recommend that direct and indirect ties be treated differently in network analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-255
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Networks
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017



  • HIV
  • Macronetwork
  • Tie corroboration
  • YMSM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)

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