Space and Place in Alcohol Research
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Purpose of Review
To summarize the recent literature on social and physical environments and their links to alcohol use and identify empirical research strategies that will lead to a better understanding of alcohol use in contexts.
Recent research has continued to describe the importance of neighborhood and regional contexts on alcohol use, while a smaller emerging scientific literature assesses the impacts of contexts on drinking.
The dynamic, longitudinal, and multiscale processes by which social and physical structures affect social interactions and substance use have not yet been uncovered or quantified. In order to understand and quantify these processes, assessments of exposures (e.g., how individuals use space) and risks within specific locations are essential. Methods to better assess these exposures and risks include model-based survey approaches, ecological momentary assessment (EMA), and other forms of ecologically and temporally specific analyses, affiliation network analyses, simulation models, and qualitative/multimethods studies.
KeywordsAlcohol Social epidemiology Substance use Neighborhood effects Social environment
This work was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants P60-AA06282 (Gruenewald, PI) and P60-AA06282-5610 (Mair, Component Director), K01-AA026327 (Morrison, PI), and R01-AA024759 (Mair, PI).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Christina Mair reports grants from the National Institutes of Health (P60-AA06282, R01-AA024759). Jessica Frankeberger and Bridget Freisthler each declare no potential conflicts of interest. Paul J Gruenewald reports a grant from the National Institutes of Health (P60-AA06282). Christopher N Morrison reports a grant from the National Institutes of Health (K01-AA026327).
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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