The Application of Spatial Analysis to the Public Health Understanding of Alcohol and Alcohol-Related Problems
Robert Lipton (Prevention Research Center, USA), D. M. Gorman (The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, USA) and Paul Gruenewald (Buffalo State College-State University of New York, USA)
Copyright: © 2003
This chapter describes research that uses spatial modeling to address pressing issues related to a public health understanding of alcohol problems and violence. First, we introduce the language of spatial analysis used in prevention work and discuss the details of spatial research that result in useful public health information, particularly in regard to alcohol-related problems. Issues such as geo-mapping, variable selection, and area definition are discussed in regard to community level occurrence of such problems. We then discuss the general context for understanding the geographic relationship between alcohol outlet density and violent crime. Finally, we give a specific example of an analysis focusing on alcohol outlets and violence. This work is related to the major goal of studying the community geography of alcohol problems by mapping the alcohol environment, relating these features of the environment to the spatial distribution of problem events, and analyzing the statistical associations between these measures and drinking behaviors.