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

Conference Contribution

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 geographical distance and contact frequency. In xx National Research Council (Ed.), Proceedings of the 88th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, January 2009 (pp. 1-9). (Transportation Research Record, No. 2135). Washington D.C.. Read more: Medialink/Full text

Abstract

 

Social activities are responsible for a substantial proportion of trips by individuals and households. Therefore, travel demand is determined primarily by the size and the spatial distribution of people’s social networks. In the field of transportation, little is known about social networks in relation to trip generation. However, research interest in social networks is rapidly emerging. This paper describes the instrument used to collect data on ego-centered social networks in a survey in the Netherlands and the analysis of these data in relation to travel demand. Five successive regression models were used to analyze and predict the size of the ego’s social network, distribution of network members across seven social categories, geographic distance, and contact frequency (by means of information and communication technology and face-to-face) with each social network member based on sociodemographic characteristics of the ego. The results indicate that, even though significant relationships exist, the relationships between sociodemographic variables and social network size, the choice of social category, geographic distance, and (mediated) contact frequency are not strong. A better model fit is found for predicting face-to-face contact frequency.