The relationship of alcohol outlet density to heavy and frequent drinking and drinking-related problems among college students at eight universities

Health Place. 2003 Mar;9(1):1-6. doi: 10.1016/s1353-8292(02)00014-x.


To determine whether alcohol outlet density was correlated with heavy and frequent drinking and drinking-related problems, we compared ecological measures of outlet density with survey measures of drinking using a geographic information system and the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (n=3,421, site n=8). We identified 966 outlets within 8 2-mile study areas. Densities/site ranged from 32 to 185. Density was correlated with heavy drinking (r=0.82, p=0.01), frequent drinking (r=0.73, p=0.04) and drinking-related problems (r=0.79, p=0.02). Women, underage students and students who picked up binge drinking in college were affected. Implications for prevention and research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • United States
  • Universities / statistics & numerical data*