Exploring Spatial Associations between On-Sale Alcohol Availability, Neighborhood Population Characteristics, and Violent Crime in a Geographically Isolated City
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Objectives. Despite the increasing evidence of the associations between alcohol availability and violence, there are still inconsistent findings on the effects of on- and off-sale alcohol outlets on violent crime. The aim of this study was to examine spatial associations between on-sale alcohol availability, neighborhood characteristics, and violent crime in a geographically isolated city in Texas. Methods. Geographically weighted regression (GWR) and global regression models were employed to analyze the nature of the spatial relationship between violent crime, neighborhood sociocultural characteristics, and on-sale alcohol environment. Results. We found strong effects of neighborhood characteristics combined with on-sale alcohol availability on violence outcomes. Several neighborhood variables combined with alcohol availability explained about 63% of the variability in violence. An additional 7% was explained by the GWR model, while spatially nonstationary associations between violence and some predictor variables were observed. Conclusions. This study provided more credible evidence of the influence of on-sale alcohol outlets on violence in a unique setting. These findings have important policy implications in addressing the question of public health consequences of alcohol-related violence in local contexts.
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