Size and composition of ego-centered social networks and their effect on travel distance and contact frequency

Article

Berg, van den, P.E.W., Arentze, T.A. & Timmermans, H.J.P. (2009). Size and composition of ego-centered social networks and their effect on travel distance and contact frequency. Transportation Research Record, 2135, 1-9. In Scopus Cited 32 times.

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Abstract

 

Social activities are responsible for a substantial proportion of trips conducted by individuals and households. Therefore, travel demand is to a large extent determined by the size and spatial distribution of people’s social networks. In the field of transportation, still little is known about social networks in relation to trip generation. However, research interest into social networks is rapidly emerging. This paper describes the instrument that was used to collect data on ego-centered social networks in a survey conducted in the Netherlands, and the analysis of these data in relation to travel demand. Four regression models are used to analyze and predict the size of the ego’s social network, the distribution of the network members across seven social categories, the geographical distance and the contact frequency with each social network member based on socio-demographic characteristics of the ego. The results indicate that even though significant relationships exist, the relationships between socio-demographic variables and social network size, the choice of social category, distance and (mediated) contact frequency is not very strong. A stronger relationship is found for face-to-face contact frequency.