Relationship Between Neighborhood Context, Family Management Practices and Alcohol Use Among Urban, Multi-ethnic, Young Adolescents
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- Tobler, A.L., Komro, K.A. & Maldonado-Molina, M.M. Prev Sci (2009) 10: 313. doi:10.1007/s11121-009-0133-1
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We examined relationships between alcohol-related neighborhood context, protective home and family management practices, and alcohol use among urban, racial/ethnic minority, adolescents. The sample comprised 5,655 youth who were primarily low SES (72%), African American (43%) and Hispanic (29%). Participants completed surveys in 2002–2005 (ages 11–14 years). Items assessed alcohol use, accessibility of alcohol at home and parental family management practices. Neighborhood context measures included: (1) alcohol outlet density; (2) commercial alcohol accessibility; (3) alcohol advertisement exposure; and (4) perceived neighborhood strength, reported by parents and community leaders. Structural equation modeling was used to assess direct and indirect relationships between alcohol-related neighborhood context at baseline, home alcohol access and family management practices in seventh grade, and alcohol use in eighth grade. Neighborhood strength was negatively associated with alcohol use (β = −0.078, p ≤ 0.05) and exposure to alcohol advertisements was positively associated with alcohol use (β = 0.043, p ≤ 0.05). Neighborhood strength and commercial alcohol access were associated with home alcohol access (β = 0.050, p ≤ 0.05 and β = −0.150, p ≤ 0.001, respectively) and family management practices (β = −0.061, p ≤ 0.01 and β = 0.083, p ≤ 0.001, respectively). Home alcohol access showed a positive association with alcohol use (β = 0.401, p ≤ 0.001). Tests for indirect effects suggest that home alcohol access may partially mediate the relationship between neighborhood strength and alcohol use (β = 0.025, p < 0.062). Results suggest inner-city parents respond to environmental risk, such that as neighborhood risk increases, so also do protective home and family management practices. Parent engagement in restricting alcohol access and improving family management practices may be key to preventive efforts to reduce alcohol use.