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Special Issue "Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives"

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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2009)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Thomas K. Greenfield (Website)

Public Health Institute, 6001 Shellmound St., Suite 450, Emeryville, CA 94608
Fax: +1 510 985 6459
Interests: the epidemiology of alcohol use and problems; alcohol policy studies; regulatory environments and externalities; alcohol-related problem and consumption measurement; drinking patterns and mortality, alcohol related health disparities; cultural and ethnic variations in drinking behavior; services research and consumer satisfaction with services
Editorial Advisor
Dr. Joris Cornelis Verster

Utrecht University, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Division of Pharmacology, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Fax: +31 30 253 7900
Interests: effects of drugs on driving and traffic safety; drug abuse and addiction; sleep and sleep disorders

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environments affect alcohol consumption patterns and the development of alcoholism (or alcohol dependence) and these human characteristics and conditions in turn impact the environment in both social and physical ways, including producing drinking externalities. Public health alcohol issues inherently involve agents (e.g., contaminated beverages), the host’s bio-psycho-social makeup and typical intake patterns, embedded or acting in environments—physical, social and drinking contexts. Environments can be hazardous, harmful, restraining of choices or rehabilitative, for example effects of dysfunctional or positive family rules; organizational, governmental or social regulations; drinking venues affecting pour sizes, drinking rates, and risks of assault or injury; taxation and price regimes; and social networks. Because humans move between and may select or be trapped by surroundings, complex interactions occur. Furthermore, environmental impacts depend upon life-course stage, time structured risk opportunities, from early rearing, adolescent and young adult groups though lifetime exposures. We are interested too in environmental controls, wet or dry environments, policy and community interventions, and mutual help and living groups supporting sobriety. We seek papers for the special edition of IJERPH dealing with such issues and methodologies like geographic and other techniques and measurement approaches for improving environmental studies of alcohol and alcoholism.

Dr. Thomas K. Greenfield
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • alcohol
  • alcoholism
  • drinking context
  • policy
  • environment
  • social network
  • externalities
  • methodology

Related Special Issues

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Gender Differences in Public and Private Drinking Contexts: A Multi-Level GENACIS Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(5), 2136-2160; doi:10.3390/ijerph7052136
Received: 9 March 2010 / Revised: 26 April 2010 / Accepted: 27 April 2010 / Published: 4 May 2010
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (320 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This multi-national study hypothesized that higher levels of country-level gender equality would predict smaller differences in the frequency of women’s compared to men’s drinking in public (like bars and restaurants) settings and possibly private (home or party) settings. GENACIS project survey data [...] Read more.
This multi-national study hypothesized that higher levels of country-level gender equality would predict smaller differences in the frequency of women’s compared to men’s drinking in public (like bars and restaurants) settings and possibly private (home or party) settings. GENACIS project survey data with drinking contexts included 22 countries in Europe (8); the Americas (7); Asia (3); Australasia (2), and Africa (2), analyzed using hierarchical linear models (individuals nested within country). Age, gender and marital status were individual predictors; country-level gender equality as well as equality in economic participation, education, and political participation, and reproductive autonomy and context of violence against women measures were country-level variables. In separate models, more reproductive autonomy, economic participation, and educational attainment and less violence against women predicted smaller differences in drinking in public settings. Once controlling for country-level economic status, only equality in economic participation predicted the size of the gender difference. Most country-level variables did not explain the gender difference in frequency of drinking in private settings. Where gender equality predicted this difference, the direction of the findings was opposite from the direction in public settings, with more equality predicting a larger gender difference, although this relationship was no longer significant after controlling for country-level economic status. Findings suggest that country-level gender equality may influence gender differences in drinking. However, the effects of gender equality on drinking may depend on the specific alcohol measure, in this case drinking context, as well as on the aspect of gender equality considered. Similar studies that use only global measures of gender equality may miss key relationships. We consider potential implications for alcohol related consequences, policy and public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
Open AccessCommunication The Drinker’s Effect on the Social Environment: A Conceptual Framework for Studying Alcohol’s Harm to Others
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1855-1871; doi:10.3390/ijerph7041855
Received: 22 January 2010 / Revised: 11 April 2010 / Accepted: 17 April 2010 / Published: 21 April 2010
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (83 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper considers conceptual and methodological issues in studying the scope of alcohol’s harm to others. Reasons are suggested for the relative neglect of the topic. The approaches in two relevant research traditions are considered: population surveys on alcohol problems, and economic [...] Read more.
The paper considers conceptual and methodological issues in studying the scope of alcohol’s harm to others. Reasons are suggested for the relative neglect of the topic. The approaches in two relevant research traditions are considered: population surveys on alcohol problems, and economic cost of alcohol studies. Ways of conceptualizing and measuring aspects of the drinker’s effects on others are considered, in terms of main types of relationship with the other, and in terms of major societal response institutions. The main types of data tend to measure different levels of severity, with population survey data dominated by less severe problems, and response institution data by more severe problems; so both are needed for a three-dimensional view. Research questions for the field and its policy significance are noted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle Community Mobilization and the Framing of Alcohol-Related Problems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1226-1247; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031226
Received: 29 December 2009 / Revised: 5 March 2010 / Accepted: 12 March 2010 / Published: 22 March 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (405 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The goal of this study was to describe how activists engaged in campaigns to change alcohol policies in inner city areas framed alcohol problems, and whether or not their frameworks reflected major models used in the field, such as the alcoholism as [...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to describe how activists engaged in campaigns to change alcohol policies in inner city areas framed alcohol problems, and whether or not their frameworks reflected major models used in the field, such as the alcoholism as a disease model, an alcohol problems perspective, or a public health approach to alcohol problems. The findings showed that activists’ models shared some aspects with dominant approaches which tend to focus on individuals and to a lesser extent on regulating alcohol marketing and sales. However, activists’ models differed in significant ways by focusing on community level problems with alcohol; on problems with social norms regarding alcohol use; and on the relationship of alcohol use to illicit drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle An Exploratory Approach to Analyzing Alcohol Control Policy Opinions Held by Ontario Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 827-841; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030827
Received: 31 December 2009 / Accepted: 2 March 2010 / Published: 8 March 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Telephone interview data from a representative sample of 1,216 Ontario adults were analyzed using latent class analysis to determine whether distinct and homogeneous classes of individuals could be identified based on their responding patterns to 11 alcohol policy items. Five latent classes [...] Read more.
Telephone interview data from a representative sample of 1,216 Ontario adults were analyzed using latent class analysis to determine whether distinct and homogeneous classes of individuals could be identified based on their responding patterns to 11 alcohol policy items. Five latent classes were identified and labeled as: dedicated liberalizers, moderate liberalizers, moderate controllers, dedicated controllers, and an ambivalent class. Multinomial regression analysis indicated that demographic and alcohol factors differentiated the classes. Those most opposed to alcohol controls, dedicated liberalizers, were more likely to be male, younger and heavier drinkers. Given their young age it is possible that further erosion of public support for alcohol controls may be expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle Categorizing US State Drinking Practices and Consumption Trends
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(1), 269-283; doi:10.3390/ijerph7010269
Received: 9 December 2009 / Accepted: 16 January 2010 / Published: 20 January 2010
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (172 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
US state alcohol consumption patterns and trends are examined in order to identify groups of states with similar drinking habits or cultures. Rates of heavy drinking and current abstention and per capita apparent consumption levels are used to categorize states. Six state [...] Read more.
US state alcohol consumption patterns and trends are examined in order to identify groups of states with similar drinking habits or cultures. Rates of heavy drinking and current abstention and per capita apparent consumption levels are used to categorize states. Six state groupings were identified: North Central and New England with the highest consumption and heavy drinking levels; Middle Atlantic, Pacific and South Coast with moderate drinking levels; and Dry South with the lowest drinking levels. Analyses of relationships between beer and spirits series for states within groups as compared to those in different groups failed to clearly indicate group cohesiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle Externalities from Alcohol Consumption in the 2005 US National Alcohol Survey: Implications for Policy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(12), 3205-3224; doi:10.3390/ijerph6123205
Received: 19 October 2009 / Accepted: 5 December 2009 / Published: 11 December 2009
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A subsample (n = 2,550) of the 2005 US National Alcohol Survey of adults was used to estimate prevalence and correlates of six externalities from alcohol abuse—family problems, assaults, accompanying intoxicated driver, vehicular accident, financial problems and vandalized property—all from another‘s drinking. [...] Read more.
A subsample (n = 2,550) of the 2005 US National Alcohol Survey of adults was used to estimate prevalence and correlates of six externalities from alcohol abuse—family problems, assaults, accompanying intoxicated driver, vehicular accident, financial problems and vandalized property—all from another‘s drinking. On a lifetime basis, 60% reported externalities, with a lower 12-month rate (9%). Women reported more family/marital and financial impacts and men more assaults, accompanying drunk drivers, and accidents. Being unmarried, older, white and ever having monthly heavy drinking or alcohol problems was associated with more alcohol externalities. Publicizing external costs of drinking could elevate political will for effective alcohol controls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle Ethyl Carbamate in Alcoholic Beverages from Mexico (Tequila, Mezcal, Bacanora, Sotol) and Guatemala (Cuxa): Market Survey and Risk Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(1), 349-360; doi:10.3390/ijerph6010349
Received: 19 December 2008 / Accepted: 16 January 2009 / Published: 20 January 2009
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ethyl carbamate (EC) is a recognized genotoxic carcinogen, with widespread occurrence in fermented foods and beverages. No data on its occurrence in alcoholic beverages from Mexico or Central America is available. Samples of agave spirits including tequila, mezcal, bacanora and sotol (n=110), and of the sugarcane spirit cuxa (n=16) were purchased in Mexico and Guatemala, respectively, and analyzed for EC. The incidence of EC contamination was higher in Mexico than in Guatemala, however, concentrations were below international guideline levels (<0.15 mg/L). Risk assessment found the Margin of Exposure (MOE) in line with that of European spirits. It is therefore unlikely that EC plays a role in high rates of liver cirrhosis reported in Mexico. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Beer and its Non-Alcoholic Compounds: Role in Pancreatic Exocrine Secretion, Alcoholic Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Carcinoma
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1093-1104; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031093
Received: 8 February 2010 / Revised: 2 March 2010 / Accepted: 9 March 2010 / Published: 15 March 2010
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
: In this article we provide an overview of the newest data concerning the effect of non-alcoholic constituents of alcoholic beverages, especially of beer, on pancreatic secretion, and their possible role in alcoholic pancreatitis and pancreatic carcinoma. The data indicate that non-alcoholic [...] Read more.
: In this article we provide an overview of the newest data concerning the effect of non-alcoholic constituents of alcoholic beverages, especially of beer, on pancreatic secretion, and their possible role in alcoholic pancreatitis and pancreatic carcinoma. The data indicate that non-alcoholic constituents of beer stimulate pancreatic enzyme secretion in humans and rats, at least in part, by direct action on pancreatic acinar cells. Some non-alcoholic compounds of beer, such as quercetin, resveratrol, ellagic acid or catechins, have been shown to be protective against experimentally induced pancreatitis by inhibiting pancreatic secretion, stellate cell activation or by reducing oxidative stress. Quercetin, ellagic acid and resveratrol also show anti-carcinogenic potential in vitro and in vivo. However, beer contains many more non-alcoholic ingredients. Their relevance in beer-induced functional alterations of pancreatic cells leading to pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in humans needs to be further evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
Open AccessReview Neighborhoods, Alcohol Outlets and Intimate Partner Violence: Addressing Research Gaps in Explanatory Mechanisms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 799-813; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030799
Received: 18 December 2009 / Accepted: 1 March 2010 / Published: 4 March 2010
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (146 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Indices of heavy drinking have consistently been linked with increased risk for intimate partner violence (IPV) among couples in the general household population. Because IPV is a ‘private’ event, most IPV research has focused on individual-level risk factors, but current social ecological [...] Read more.
Indices of heavy drinking have consistently been linked with increased risk for intimate partner violence (IPV) among couples in the general household population. Because IPV is a ‘private’ event, most IPV research has focused on individual-level risk factors, but current social ecological theory suggests that alcohol outlets can act with neighborhood conditions to increase risks for IPV. This paper reviews the theoretical and empirical literatures relevant to identifying specific social mechanisms linking IPV to alcohol use in community settings, and discusses three social mechanisms relevant to these effects: greater numbers of alcohol outlets within a neighborhood may (1) be a sign of loosened normative constraints against violence; (2) promote problem alcohol use among at-risk couples, and; (3) provide environments where groups of persons at risk for IPV may form and mutually reinforce IPV-related attitudes, norms, and problem behaviors. Understanding these mechanisms is of critical public health importance for developing environmental strategies aimed at prevention of IPV, such as changes in zoning, community action and education, and policing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
Open AccessReview Alcoholism and Intimate Partner Violence: Effects on Children’s Psychosocial Adjustment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(12), 3156-3168; doi:10.3390/ijerph6123156
Received: 10 October 2009 / Accepted: 4 December 2009 / Published: 10 December 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (171 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is widely recognized that alcoholism and relationship violence often have serious consequences for adults; however, children living with alcoholic parents are susceptible to the deleterious familial environments these caregivers frequently create. Given the prevalence of IPV among patients entering substance abuse [...] Read more.
It is widely recognized that alcoholism and relationship violence often have serious consequences for adults; however, children living with alcoholic parents are susceptible to the deleterious familial environments these caregivers frequently create. Given the prevalence of IPV among patients entering substance abuse treatment, coupled with the negative familial consequences associated with these types of behavior, this review explores what have been, to this point, two divergent lines of research: (a) the effects of parental alcoholism on children, and (b) the effects of children’s exposure to intimate partner violence. In this article, the interrelationship between alcoholism and IPV is examined, with an emphasis on the developmental impact of these behaviors (individually and together) on children living in the home and offers recommendations for future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)

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