U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Alcohol Availability and Youth Homicide in the 91 Largest US Cities, 1984-2006

NCJ Number
Drug and Alcohol Review Volume: 30 Issue: 5 Dated: September 2011 Pages: 505-514
Robert N. Parker; Kirk R. Williams; Kevin J. McCaffree; Emily K. Acensio; Angela Browne; Kevin J. Strom; Kelle Barrick
Date Published
September 2011
10 pages
This multivariate, pooled time series, and cross-sectional study examined youth homicide offending rates for two age groups, 13-17 and 18-24, in the 91 largest U.S. cities between 1984 and 2006.
The results show that after controlling for other variables, several of which had significant impacts on youth homicide, the density of alcohol outlets had a significant positive effect on youth homicide for both age groups studied. Such positive effects have been found for adults in national and neighborhood studies, but this is the first study to report such results for teens and young adults. The findings suggest that reduction in the density of retail alcohol outlets in a city may be an effective measure for reducing violent crime among these age groups. The time period covered by the study was significant because of the dramatic increases and declines in youth homicide during this period. The findings also showed that others factors - such as structural disadvantage, narcotic drug activity, firearm availability, and gang influence - had significant and theoretically predicted effects on youth homicide in both age groups. Data on the availability of alcohol for each city were obtained from the U.S. Census of Economic Activity, which is conducted every 5 years. These data were used to construct an annual time series for the density of retail alcohol outlets in each city. Data on social and economic characteristics, drug use, street-gang activity, and gun availability were used as time series measures. 3 tables, 75 references, and an appended listing of cities included in the study