Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tracking the When, Where, and With Whom of Alcohol Use: Integrating Ecological Momentary Assessment and Geospatial Data to Examine Risk for Alcohol-Related Problems

Below:  Social–ecological framework of drinking contexts and alcohol-related problems.
NOTES: 1 The characteristics listed in each box are provided as an example. They are not an exhaustive list of variables one might include in social–ecological models.
2 Macro- (e.g., alcohol outlet density) and micro-level drinking contexts (e.g., drinking location) are included in the model above, but we focus primarily on micro-level drinking contexts here.

Prevention researchers have found that drinking in different contexts is related to different alcohol problems. Where and with whom people drink affects the types of alcohol-related problems they experience. Consequently, identifying those contexts that result in the greatest number of problems provides a novel opportunity to target new prevention efforts aimed at those contexts. However, identifying these contexts poses methodological challenges to prevention research. To overcome these challenges, researchers need tools that allow them to gather detailed information about when and where people choose to drink and how contextual factors influence drinking risks. New data collection and analysis techniques, such as activity-space analysis, which examines movement through different contexts, and ecological momentary assessment, which captures microlevel contextual changes as individuals move through their days, can advance the field of alcohol studies by providing detailed information on the use of drinking contexts, particularly when combined. Data acquired through these methods allow researchers to better identify those contexts where and conditions under which drinking and problems related to drinking occur. Use of these methods will allow prevention practitioners to target prevention efforts to those contexts that place most drinkers at risk and tailor prevention efforts to each context for specific outcomes.

Via: HT @UCLALuskin

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