Year of Publication

2015

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Dr. of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Sabrina Brown, PhD

Committee Member

Steve Fleming, PhD

Committee Member

Warren J. Christian, PhD

Abstract

Alcohol is one of the major public health problems worldwide because of its association with many health and psychological problems. This study adds to the extant literature by examining the association between being a resident in a wet county and having an alcohol related violent death, an alcohol related suicide, or an alcohol related homicide victimization.

The first aim of this study is to determine whether residents of wet counties have a higher odds of alcohol related violent deaths than residents of dry/moist counties after adjusting for other confounding factors. The second aim is to determine whether residents of wet counties have a higher odds of having alcohol related suicides than residents of dry/moist counties after adjusting for other confounding factors. The third aim is to determine whether residents of wet counties have a higher odds of being an alcohol related homicide victims than residents of dry/moist counties after adjusting for other confounding factors. The fourth aim is to determine whether the association between being a resident in a wet county and having an alcohol related violent death exists only in counties with high population (>100,000 individual/county).

We conduct a multilevel logistic regression analysis of the violent deaths reported to the Kentucky Violent Death Reporting System between 2005 and 2012. We also use a cluster analysis approach to determine whether there is a clustering of suicides, alcohol related suicides, homicides, and alcohol related homicide victims. To study possible effect modification by population in each county, we stratify by population.

The data suggest that there is an association between being a resident of a wet county and having an alcohol related violent death and an alcohol related suicide, but not homicide. In addition, the data suggest that there is no association between being a resident of a wet county and being a victim of alcohol related homicide.

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