Many people have experienced or witnessed situations in which people drinking alcohol get aggressive, obnoxious, and violent. Scientific research has shown evidence of a relationship between alcohol and violence, and even evidence that alcohol plays a role in causing violent and aggressive responses. The book explores a number of aspects of this relationship. If you have been drinking are you more likely to be a victim of crime? If victimized, does drinking alcohol make you more likely to be injured? How does availability of alcohol in the community influence rates of violence among Mexican American youth? Does advertising that links sex and alcohol result in higher rates of sexual assault in Latino neighborhoods? How do elementary school children react to experimentation with drugs, alcohol, and aggression? Do countries outside the US have alcohol and violence problems, and do these impact men and women differently? We presents original research that shows the depths and conditions under which alcohol and violence are linked, further strengthening the evidence that alcohol use and availability is an important factor in violence in our cities, neighborhoods, school, and homes. The good news is that we regulate alcohol use and availability effectively, with a body of established laws and procedures. We can, therefore, find ways using this existing system to develop new ways to prevent the alcohol related violence studied here. The second half of the book begins this task by laying out the principles of environmental prevention, a strategy that has been very successful in a number of health and safety related domains. The next four chapters show just how environmental prevention strategies have worked, and worked very effectively, to lower rates of violence by reducing alcohol availability and alcohol consumption. The research reported here shows communities different approaches and mechanisms to achieve reductions in violence, and they provide a road map for communities everywhere to follow suit and reduce alcohol related violence. Reducing violence can be accomplished, everyone can do it if they work together, and the result is a safer and better society.
Robert Nash Parker —
Robert Nash Parker is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He received his PhD in Sociology from Duke University, his MA in Sociology from Indiana University, and his AB in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences, a major of his own design, from Brown University. He has held appointments at the University of Akron, Rutgers University, and the University of Iowa and was also a Senior Research Scientist and Study Director at the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley, CA, a unit of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE). For most of the last two decades, Parker's research has been focused on the alcohol and violence relationship and on the development of and application to Social Science research of Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Statistical Models. Author of two earlier books, Alcohol and Homicide: A deadly Combination of Two American Traditions (SUNY Press, 1995) and GIS and Spatial Analysis for the Social Sciences (Routledge, 2008), he has also published articles recently in the Drug and Alcohol Review, Contemporary Drug Problems, and the American Journal of Community Psychology.
Kevin J McCaffree —
Kevin J. McCaffree is a doctoral student at the University of California Riverside. He has thus far co-published an extensive, cross-cultural review of the literature on alcohol and human experience, along with two articles, co-authored with Robert Nash Parker, that have appeared in the journal, Drug and Alcohol Review. Kevin has been and continues to be a research assistant on multiple projects at UC Riverside. These projects have more recently included public policy work on alcohol and violence at the local city level as well as work on a cross-national, interdisciplinary research grant to study human morality across its sociological, psychological, economic and philosophical dimensions. Kevin is currently working on a dissertation that provides a perception-based theory of the cultural evolution of morality across various technological and scientific stages of society.
Parker, Robert Nash. Alcohol and violence: the nature of the relationship and the promise of prevention, by Robert Nash Parker and Kevin J. McCaffree. Lexington Books, 2013. 211p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780739180112; ISBN 9780739180129 e-book. Reviewed in 2013jun CHOICE.
Sociologist Parker (Univ. of California, Riverside) and PhD student McCaffree join with coauthors on many chapters in this research monograph to explore the harm caused by, and environmental prevention strategies for, alcohol--the "most important" drug for involvement with assault and homicide. Part 1 examines the nature of the relationship between alcohol and violent victimization; violence among Mexican American youth; sexually explicit alcohol advertising aimed at Latinos; adolescent mental health; and cross-national contexts. Part 2 examines prevention through the framework of environmental prevention, which means restricting access to alcohol (changing people's attitudes about alcohol is secondary, at best). With mixed success, the authors disavow a "neo-Prohibitionist" label while reporting on the effects of raising the drinking age, banning alcohol in Barrow, Alaska, decreasing alcohol outlet density, and responsible beverage service (bartenders monitoring customer consumption). Chapters generally resemble journal article format, with contemporary literature reviews setting up model specification and analysis of 1990s data in detailed tables, followed by discussion. Contextualization of issues is good, literature reviews are impressive, and discussion is helpful (even for those having different viewpoints). Conclusions highlight the problems of alcohol while being nuanced, qualified, and sometimes surprisingly narrow.
Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty. -- P. S. Leighton, Eastern Michigan University