Prevention Science

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 125–133

A Multilevel Analysis of Neighborhood Context and Youth Alcohol and Drug Problems


  • Susan C. Duncan
    • Oregon Research Institute
  • Terry E. Duncan
    • Oregon Research Institute
  • Lisa A. Strycker
    • Oregon Research Institute

DOI: 10.1023/A:1015483317310

Cite this article as:
Duncan, S.C., Duncan, T.E. & Strycker, L.A. Prev Sci (2002) 3: 125. doi:10.1023/A:1015483317310


Various sources of data were used to examine hypothesized relations among neighborhood variables and youth alcohol and drug problems. Family members (N = 1186) were from 55 neighborhoods: 57% female, 41% African American, and 59% White. Data were clustered by neighborhood and analyzed within a multilevel design. At the neighborhood level, the study examined relations among poverty, stores selling alcohol, neighborhood social cohesion, neighborhood problems with youth alcohol and drug use, and drug and alcohol arrests. At the individual level, gender, ethnicity, adult versus child status, neighborhood social cohesion, and neighborhood problems were examined. Results indicated that more stores sold alcohol in higher poverty neighborhoods, which was associated with less social cohesion. Lower social cohesion was related to greater perceived neighborhood problems with youth alcohol and drug use, which was positively related to neighborhood youth drug and alcohol arrests. The study showed significant variation across neighborhoods and demonstrates the utility of combining different sources of neighborhood data to examine relations of interest.

neighborhoodsubstance usemultilevelsocial cohesion

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© Society for Prevention Research 2002