The Prevention Research Center (PRC), a division of Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), was formed in October 1983 around the Environmental Approaches to Prevention Research Center grant, selected by peer review as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's (NIAAA's) national Center for prevention research. The goals of the Center are: (1) to undertake innovative basic research that contributes to the development of cost-effective environmental prevention programs and policies at the local, state, and national levels; (2) to undertake research of applied and practical importance to inform policies and programs to prevent alcohol-related problems, especially in the area of environmental factors; (3) to summarize and synthesize new and existing knowledge about prevention theories, policies, and programs, and to disseminate this information to professional, academic, and community audiences; and (4) to provide multidisciplinary training and research opportunities for post-doctoral fellows and other early investigators. We take a multidisciplinary approach to prevention research that emphasizes integration across theories from the biological to the behavioral and social sciences to enhance our understanding of the causal impacts of drinking environments on drinking patterns and problems. Research we are proposing for the renewal of the Center continues this approach, building upon extensive work conducted among cities in California in the previous rounds, and continuing to focus on the micro- and macro-ecological contexts of alcohol use. We will consider the social and situational conditions that affect early initiation of underage alcohol use, intoxication, and progression to heavier drinking and related problems (Component #3). Identification of these conditions will improve our understanding of how micro-environments affect early developmental trajectories and guide us toward effective preventive interventions to reduce underage alcohol use. We will examine young adult drinking patterns and problems in large Hispanic/Latino communities situated along the California-Mexico border and some distance away in order to assess how macro- and micro-ecological differences in access to alcohol affect drinking and problems in this subpopulation (Component #4). This study will illuminate sources of alcohol-related health disparities that arise among Hispanic/Latino drinkers and help us identify those unique drinking contexts and situations for which effective preventive interventions should be designed. We will investigate the dynamic inter-relationships of alcohol use, problems, and AUD symptomatology among heavy drinkers in order to establish how micro-ecological contexts of heavy drinking might be manipulated to reduce the large number of problems that arise in communities in association with AUDs (Component #5). For the first time in any environmental research program we will integrate theoretical models and empirical data from these studies into an agent-based modeling framework that allows us to test a select set of scenarios that involve altering social ecological mechanisms that could ameliorate alcohol- related problems in communities (the Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics, FRED; Component #6). Finally, we will continue our focus on providing information and dissemination of community-based preventive intervention research, expanding our utilization of social media (Component #2).

Public Health Relevance

The ?Environmental Approaches to Prevention? Center Grant supports innovative basic research that contributes to the development of cost-effective environmental prevention programs and policies at the local, state, and national levels. Research conducted through the Center has applied and practical importance to inform context-specific policies and programs to prevent alcohol-related problems. The Center summarizes, synthesizes and disseminates new and existing knowledge about prevention theories, policies, and programs, and provides multidisciplinary training and research opportunities for post-doctoral fellows and other early investigators.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Type
Comprehensive Center (P60)
Project #
5P60AA006282-39
Application #
10064066
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1)
Program Officer
Bloss, Gregory
Project Start
1983-09-29
Project End
2022-11-30
Budget Start
2020-12-01
Budget End
2021-11-30
Support Year
39
Fiscal Year
2021
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
Department
Type
DUNS #
021883350
City
Beltsville
State
MD
Country
United States
Zip Code
20705
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