Potential method to reduce alcohol-related problems, including various types of crime, is to decrease overall drinking rates by changing environmental factors such as the availability of alcohol. Our goal is to evaluate whether density of alcohol establishments'-- one measure of availability -- is related to alcohol-related crime and whether the presence of other physical structures (e.g., non-alcohol businesses, parks) and levels of neighborhood activism moderate this effect. We propose to conduct a three-year study in two Midwestern cities to assess whether: (1) densities of different types of alcohol establishments are positively related to a wide range of alcohol-related crimes (e.g., violent crime, property crime);(2) densities of non-alcohol businesses and other neighborhood physical structures (i.e., parks, schools, and religious institutions), and levels of neighborhood activism are associated with crime rates;and (3) these neighborhood structures and activism moderate the observed associations between densities of alcohol establishments and different types of crime. Previous studies have assessed the relationship between density of alcohol establishments and crime but are limited by types of crime outcomes assessed and/or lack of control for spatial autocorrelation. Additionally, researchers have not assessed potential moderating effects such as neighborhood physical structures or neighborhood activism. We will use archival data, including data on: (1) alcohol establishments, (2) non-alcohol businesses, (3) parks, schools, and religious institutions, and (4) UCR category I and II crimes. To further assess parks, we will conduct observations of all parks in the two cites. To assess activism within neighborhoods, we will conduct a telephone survey of neighborhood associations. We will use Bayesian analytical methods to address each research question, controlling for spatial autocorrelation across neighborhoods and demographic and enforcement variables (collected through a telephone survey) that may confound the observed relationships. Results from this study will advance the research literature and inform policy and neighborhood development.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB)
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Freeman, Robert
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Erickson, Darin J; Carlin, Bradley P; Lenk, Kathleen M et al. (2015) Do neighborhood attributes moderate the relationship between alcohol establishment density and crime? Prev Sci 16:254-64
Toomey, Traci L; Erickson, Darin J; Carlin, Bradley P et al. (2012) The association between density of alcohol establishments and violent crime within urban neighborhoods. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 36:1468-73
Toomey, Traci L; Erickson, Darin J; Carlin, Bradley P et al. (2012) Is the density of alcohol establishments related to nonviolent crime? J Stud Alcohol Drugs 73:21-5