Cassie McMillan Biography

Cassie McMillan

Assistant Professor
College of Social Sciences and Humanities

[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Social networks
Social inequality
Substance use
Youth crime and delinquency
Computational methods


Cassie McMillan is an assistant professor of Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice at Northeastern University. She received her PhD in Sociology and Demography from Pennsylvania State University. Her research applies a social networks perspective to disentangle how our connections both reproduce and challenge systems of social inequality. She develops computational and statistical methodologies that can better address these issues and applies these techniques to study adolescents’ experiences with substance use, delinquency, and bullying.

Project Description

One of Dr. McMillan’s current projects examines how social network ties that persist from adolescence to adulthood shape trajectories of tobacco, alcohol, and substance use across the life course. In particular, she is considering whether the impact of these sustained relationships varies according to the gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity of the individuals involved in a friendship pair. Results from this study will uncover the ways that our social network structures inform disparities in substance use and recovery. Other recent projects consider how adolescent friendship and dating patterns collectively shape the diffusion of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as the role that youth networks play in shaping the immigrant health paradox.

Publications – Past Five Years

McMillan, Cassie, Derek Kreager, and René Veenstra. 2022. “Keeping to the Code: How Local Norms of Friendship and Dating Inform Macro-Structures of Adolescents’ Romantic Networks.” Social Networks 70:126-137.

McMillan, Cassie. 2022. “Worth the Weight: Conceptualizing and Measuring Strong versus Weak Tie Homophily.” Social Networks. 68:139-147.

McMillan, Cassie and David R. Schaefer. 2021. “Comparing Targeting Strategies for Network-Based Adolescent Drinking Interventions: A Simulation Approach.” Social Science & Medicine. 282:114136.

Felmlee, Diane, Cassie McMillan, and Roger Whitaker. 2021. “Dyads, Triads, and Tetrads: A Multivariate Simulation Approach to Uncovering Network Motifs in Social Graphs.” Applied Network Science. 6(63).

Faris, Robert, Diane Felmlee, and Cassie McMillan. 2020. “With Friends Like These: Aggression from Amity and Equivalence.” American Journal of Sociology 126(3):673-713.

McMillan, Cassie and Diane Felmlee. 2020. “Beyond Dyads and Triads: A Comparison of Tetrad Motifs in 20 Social Networks.” Social Psychology Quarterly 83(4):383-404.

McMillan, Cassie, Diane Felmlee, and Dave Braines. 2020. “Dynamic Patterns of Terrorist Networks: Security versus Efficiency in the Evolution of Eleven Islamic Extremist Attack Networks.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 36:559-581.

McMillan, Cassie. 2019. “Tied Together: Adolescent Friendship Networks, Immigrant Status, and Health Outcomes.” Demography 56(3):1075-1103.

McMillan, Cassie, Diane Felmlee, and D. Wayne Osgood. 2018. “Peer Influence, Friend Selection, and Gender: How Network Processes Shape Adolescent Smoking, Drinking, and Delinquency.” Social Networks 55:86-96.

Felmlee, Diane, Cassie McMillan, Paulina Inara Rodis, and D. Wayne Osgood. 2018. “Falling Behind: Lingering Costs of the High School Transition for Youth Friendships and Grades.” Sociology of Education 91(2):159-182.