Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The greater the number of bars in a neighborhood, the higher the rates of assault

27.06.2006
A new study analyzes the relationship between alcohol outlets and overnight hospital stays due to assaults.

Results indicate the greater the density of alcohol outlets, especially bars, the higher the rates of assault. The authors speculate that failure to regulate growth in outlet numbers will lead to higher rates of violence, especially in urban areas.

Roughly 15 years of research has shown that the availability of alcohol – as measured by the number and types of alcohol outlets – is directly related to interpersonal violence. A longitudinal study spanning six years is the first of its kind to use overnight hospital stays to reexamine the influence of alcohol outlets upon violent assaults. Findings confirm that the greater the outlet density, the higher the rates of assault.

Results are published in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

"Hospital discharges are carefully tracked throughout the state of California and provide accurate assessments of causes of injury," said Paul J. Gruenewald, senior research scientist at the Prevention Research Center. "Included among these are 'assaults,' or injuries that arise from some form of interpersonal violence. About one out of 10 assaults recorded by police are severe enough to require hospitalization. Thus, assaults recorded in hospital discharge data represent the most severe cases of interpersonal violence, short of death, that occur in the state." Gruenewald is also the first author of the study.

Using hospital-discharge data on violent assaults rather than crime reports from law enforcement officials also helps to control reporting biases, added Richard Scribner, professor of preventive medicine at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. "For example, residents of a neighborhood with high levels of police mistrust might be unlikely to report an assault."

Researchers collected six years' worth of data from 581 consistently defined zip-code areas in California. Features of local populations, such as household sizes, and places, such as retail markets, were correlated with one measure of violence: hospital admissions related to violent assaults.

"We found that rates of violence increase in areas with growth in the numbers of bars and off-premise establishments that sell alcohol," said Gruenewald. "These relationships are independent of changes in other aspects of communities often related to violence, such as poverty or vacant housing."

Gruenewald noted that alcohol consumption at bars or taverns tends to concentrate at-risk individuals within environments that emphasize both drinking and social interactions. "For those individuals with some predisposition to violence, such as young males living in impoverished areas, this is enough to increase violence rates. In addition, high concentrations of off-premise alcohol outlets tend to occur in communities with lower levels of social control, where a variety of other crimes occur – such as illegal drug sales and prostitution – that are related to violence."

"This study represents one of the strongest tests of the alcohol outlet/violence relationship," said Scribner. "There was also an unexpected finding: the degree to which this effect is amplified when spatially lagged effects on adjacent zip codes are considered." What this means is that the effects of alcohol outlets are found not only in the immediate vicinity, but also in the surrounding neighborhoods.

"These findings are significant from a prevention standpoint because alcohol outlets represent a modifiable characteristic of the community environment," continued Scribner. "Policies targeting the density of bars and off-sale outlets could be used by policymakers to address high rates of interpersonal violence in their communities. After all, violent assaults may only be the tip of the iceberg. Responsible leadership needs to factor in the potential social costs as well as the economic benefits associated with the approval of an additional alcohol outlet."

Gruenewald agrees. "Local city and county planning and zoning boards have the ability to regulate sales of alcohol through outlets," he said. "Although the numbers of alcohol outlets in California have slowly declined over the past decade, concentrations of these outlets in urban areas, particularly impoverished areas of our cities, has continued to grow. Current alcohol licensing practices generally focus upon limiting the numbers of outlets on the basis of population, but this policy is misguided. It would be better to utilize 'distance regulations' to keep down over-concentrations of outlets shown to affect violence."

Paul J. Gruenewald | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lsuhsc.edu
http://www.prev.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>