The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3320.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 9

Abstract #58255

Neighborhoods and child maltreatment: Do alcohol outlets matter?

Bridget Freisthler, PhD, Prevention Research Center, 1995 University Ave., Suite 450, Berkeley, CA 94704, (510)883-5714,

Parental substance abuse is seen as a major contributing factor to increasing child welfare caseloads. Previous research on the role of substance abuse on rates of child maltreatment have focused almost exclusively on the efficacy of substance abuse treatment programs for parents in reducing the reoccurrence of child abuse. Little attention has been given to the role of neighborhood characteristics or alcohol access on rates of child maltreatment. This information may provide a natural starting point for developing neighborhood or community-based prevention efforts. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between alcohol access and neighborhood rates of child maltreatment. Using substantiated reports of child maltreatment for 940 census tracts in three counties in California, this study examines the role of neighborhood social disorganization and alcohol access on child abuse and neglect. Spatial regression models show that neighborhoods with higher percentages of poverty, female-headed households, Hispanic residents, population loss, and greater densities of bars have higher rates of child maltreatment. In addition, there were significant variations by county of residence. Neighborhoods provide an ideal mechanism for developing preventative interventions of child abuse and neglect because individual families or parents are not targeted for services. Instead, neighborhood characteristics that contribute to potentially harmful living situations for children are identified and altered. These results suggest that efforts to prevent child maltreatment should focus on neighborhood disadvantage and alcohol outlet densities.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alcohol Problems, Children

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Evidence and Action: Alcohol Policy Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA