This R01 application will assess the social mechanisms relating neighborhood densities of off-premise alcohol outlets to alcohol-related problems. The impacts of on premise outlets (bars and restaurants) have been intensively studied, including well-established effects and promising explanatory mechanisms for associations between densities, problem drinking and negative health outcomes (e.g., violence-related injuries).
In contrast, while associations between off-premise outlet density and community problems have been established, the mechanisms underlying these impacts are poorly understood. We propose that such mechanisms must be investigated at the local level utilizing micro-environmental approaches. Building on prior research on the impacts of neighborhood conditions and alcohol outlets on alcohol-related problems, this study will investigate specific hypothetical mechanisms underlying associations between off-premise outlets and local problems.
Generalizing from research into on premise outlet effects there are several plausible mechanisms that can explain off-premise effects. Our aims are to test hypotheses that follow from these two mechanisms: (1) Crime Attractors: Off-premise outlets attract persons at higher risk for involvement in crime and violence, specifically young males, as well as potential victims (2) Place Management: Management of persons in and around off-premise outlets falls to outlet staff and owners, but may be ineffective, particularly in areas of high outlet density.
We will collect data n and around off-premise outlets in a contiguous area in Alameda County, CA, including six municipalities ranging widely in terms of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and off-premise outlet density. We will collect archival data (e.g., police reports of violent crimes), and ethnographic data (e.g., interviews with management of outlets and premise observation data). By collecting and analyzing data on outlets at the scale of the outlet and very local (i.e., within one block) environs and locating these data with the larger framework of the community, we bridge micro-ecological and macro-ecological perspectives, allowing for an advancement of our understanding of the impacts of outlets on communities.