WEDNESDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Stability and social
unity can reduce levels of violence in communities with a high
number of stores that sell alcohol, a new study suggests.
Previous research has shown that rates of assaults increase
along with the number of alcohol outlets in a community. This study
found that the effect is greatest in communities with greater
levels of disorganization, characterized by more renters, higher
numbers of people living in poverty and in women-led households
Better organized communities may see little to no effect on
violence from having a large number of alcohol outlets, said the
researchers at Indiana University Bloomington.
"Common values and stronger social cohesion found in more organized communities usually results in a greater ability to regulate the behavior of local retailers and those who patronize the local alcohol outlets," study author William Alex Pridemore, a professor in the department of criminal justice, said in a university news release.
"These communities are more likely to have greater social capital, effective informal surveillance, and even friends who work at city hall. They're more likely to get the attention of police or authorities who license liquor establishments," he noted.
The findings are from an analysis of alcohol outlets and police
data on assaults in 298 block groups in Cincinnati.
Pridemore presented the study Monday at the annual meeting of
the American Sociological Association, in Las Vegas.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, it should
be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers an
alcohol and public health.