Identifying neighborhood typologies associated with adolescent alcohol use can inform the development of harm reduction strategies. Utilizing data from a nationally representative youth survey (n = 4267) in New Zealand, latent class analysis was used to categorize neighborhood types (defined by 10 demographic, social and environmental indicators) to investigate their association with alcohol consumption and related harm. Three neighborhood types were distinguished: (1) “high outlet density and economic deprivation” (30 % of all neighborhoods); (2) “high deprivation, social disorganization, and unsafe” (38 %); and (3) “higher income, safe, and socially organized” (32 %). Significant ethnic variation was evident between neighborhood types. There was an age–group interaction in the main effects with significant associations between neighborhood type and drinking measures and harm most apparent among younger adolescents (<16 years), as described next. Compared to students residing in “higher income, safe, and socially organized” neighborhoods, the frequency of binge drinking and high typical consumption was significantly higher in students residing in “high outlet density and economic deprivation” and “high deprivation, social disorganization, and unsafe”, with students residing in “high outlet density and economic deprivation” also experiencing higher levels of alcohol-related harm. The findings that neighborhoods characterized by high deprivation and alcohol outlet density and low social organization and perceptions of safety were associated with risky drinking patterns and harm, specifically among young adolescents, underscores the importance of adopting a developmental approach to the study of contextual effects on adolescents.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 11, 2016
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