A momentary exposures analysis of proximity to alcohol outlets and risk for assault

Christopher N. Morrison, Beidi Dong, Charles C. Branas, Therese S. Richmond, Douglas J. Wiebe

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: This study estimated, with high spatial and temporal specificity, individuals’ risk of being assaulted relative to their momentary proximity to alcohol outlets during daily activities. Design: Case–control study. Setting: Philadelphia, PA, USA. Participants: Cases were 194 non-gun assault victims and 135 gun assault victims aged between 10 and 24 years. Age-matched controls (n = 274) were selected using random-digit dialing. Measurements: Participants described minute-by-minute movements (i.e. activity paths) during the course of the day of the assault (cases) or a recent randomly selected day within 3 days of interview (controls). The dependent measure was being an assault case compared with a non-assault control. The main independent measures were participants’ momentary proximity to alcohol outlets. The units of analysis were 10-minute segments beginning at 4:00 a.m. Findings: Proximity to bars and restaurants was associated with decreased odds of non-gun assault before 1 p.m. [e.g. 7 a.m. to 9:59 a.m.: odds ratio (OR) = 0.78; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.64, 0.94; P = 0.008], and increased odds after 7 p.m. (e.g. 1 a.m. to 3:59 a.m.: OR = 1.96; 95% CI = 1.24, 3.09; P = 0.004). Proximity to beer stores was associated with increased odds before 1 p.m. (e.g. 7 a.m. to 9:59 a.m.: OR = 2.34; 95% CI = 1.58, 3.46; P < 0.001) and from 4 p.m. to 6:59 p.m. (OR = 1.50; 95% CI = 1.14, 1.96; P = 0.004), but decreased odds after 7 p.m. (e.g. 1 a.m. to 3:59 a.m.: OR = 0.28; 95% CI = 0.12, 0.63; P = 0.002). Proximity to alcohol outlets was mostly unrelated to risks for gun assault. Conclusions: Individuals in areas with greater densities of bars and restaurants and beer stores appear to be at increased risk for non-gun assault at times when these outlets are likely to be patronized most heavily.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Alcohol outlets
  • assault
  • case–control
  • firearm
  • gun
  • individual
  • outlet density
  • violence

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