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Venue-Level Predictors of Alcohol-Related Violence: An Exploratory Study in Melbourne, Australia


The direct and indirect socio-economic costs associated with alcohol-related violence in the night economy are significant and escalating. This violence tends to be associated with a small proportion of venues. Little is known about which risk factors are most closely associated with alcohol-related aggression at the venue level. Alcohol-related aggression was measured through a novel survey of industry experts on the Melbourne night-economy. Individual venue risk factors were measured via an exploratory observation study of 45 venues. Associations between alcohol-related aggression and observed risk factors were identified using non-parametric multivariate, conditional inference trees. The venue characteristics most associated with alcohol-related aggression were prominence of alcohol promotion, level of rowdy behavior, and the extent to which music contained aggressive or violent language. These results suggest that either through liquor accords, voluntary codes of practice, or state mandate, practitioners are able to reduce the level of alcohol-related violence associated with their venue by taking simple, mediating actions.

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Correspondence to Martin Young.

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The authors offer sincere thanks to Dr Alasdair Forsyth, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, and Dr Kathryn Graham, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada, for permission to use their research instruments in this project, and Dr Michael Livingston and Dr Amy Pennay, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Australia, for their suggestions at the research design stage.

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McFadden, A.J., Young, M. & Markham, F. Venue-Level Predictors of Alcohol-Related Violence: An Exploratory Study in Melbourne, Australia. Int J Ment Health Addiction 13, 506–519 (2015).

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  • Night economy
  • Licensed premises
  • Alcohol
  • Aggression
  • Violence