Alcohol outlet density and university student drinking: a national study
Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 103, Issue 7, pages 1131–1138, July 2008
How to Cite
Kypri, K., Bell, M. L., Hay, G. C. and Baxter, J. (2008), Alcohol outlet density and university student drinking: a national study. Addiction, 103: 1131–1138. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02239.x
- Issue online: 28 JUN 2008
- Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2008
- Submitted 5 November 2007; initial review completed 1 February 2008; final version accepted 13 March 2008
- alcohol-related harm;
- outlet density;
Aims To examine the geographic density of alcohol outlets and associations with drinking levels and related problems among university students.
Design Cross-sectional survey study using geospatial data, with campus-level and individual-level analyses.
Participants A total of 2550 students (mean age 20.2, 60% women) at six university campuses in New Zealand (63% response).
Measurements Counts of alcohol outlets within 3 km of each campus were tested for their non-parametric correlation with aggregated campus drinking levels and related problems. Generalized estimating equations were used to model the relation between outlet counts within 1 km and 3 km of student residences and individual drinking levels/problems, with control for gender, age, ethnicity and high school binge drinking frequency, and adjustment for campus-level clustering.
Findings Correlations for campus-level data were 0.77 (P = 0.07) for drinking and personal problems, and 0.31 (P = 0.54) for second-hand effects. There were consistent significant associations of both on- and off-licence outlet densities with all outcomes in student-level adjusted models. Effects were largest for 1 km densities and off-licence outlets.
Conclusions There are positive associations between alcohol outlet density and individual drinking and related problems. Associations remain after controlling for demographic variables and pre-university drinking, i.e. the associations are unlikely to be due to self-selection effects. Increasing alcohol outlet density, and particularly off-licences, may increase alcohol-related harm among university students.