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

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

4008.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 9:06 AM

Abstract #61869

Ecological modeling and alcohol outlets: Persons, places, and assaults

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

Numerous studies show that the density of alcohol outlets in neighborhoods is associated with neighborhood rates of crime, yet little is known about the mechanism by which this occurs. Current theory suggests that neighborhood social norms (e.g., social disorganization theory) and/or the characteristics of specific types of places (e.g., routine activities theory) may interact to produce rates of assaults across neighborhood areas. Using ecological models, this paper examines how characteristics of places and characteristics of the populations living in around those places combine to explain assault rates. This framework suggests that outlets provide a meeting point for various populations in a setting where different social norms may exist. Data were examined using geospatial analyses that relied on an ecological model that combines characteristics of populations and places to allow us to determine how these features result in differing rates of assaults. Assault data were obtained for 304 block groups in Sacramento, California from three different sources (police incident reports, Emergency Medical Service reports, and hospital trauma admissions records) giving information on the location of the assault event. Population characteristics from the 2000 Census and place characteristics from the 2000 Census, California Alcohol Beverage Control, and city of Sacramento Revenue Division were used. The results suggest that both population and place characteristics, including alcohol outlet density, are important contributors to crime rates. In order to reduce alcohol-related problems, such as assaults, prevention programs must find ways to minimize the negative effects related to interactions found in these specific areas in neighborhoods.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alcohol Problems, Violence

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.

Alcohol Policy and the Environment: Research and Prevention Strategies

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