Darin J Erickson

University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, United States

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Publications (132)284.54 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction and aims: Many studies of alcohol policies examine the presence or absence of a single policy without considering policy strength or enforcement. We developed measures for the strength of 18 policies (from Alcohol Policy Information System) and levels of enforcement of those policies for the 50 US states, and examined their associations with alcohol consumption. Design and methods: We grouped policies into four domains (underage alcohol use, provision of alcohol to underage, alcohol serving, general availability) and used latent class analysis to assign states to one of four classes based on the configuration of policies-weak except serving policies (6 states), average (29 states), strong for underage use (11 states) and strong policies overall (4 states). We surveyed 1082 local enforcement agencies regarding alcohol enforcement across five domains. We used multilevel latent class analysis to assign states to classes in each domain and assigned each state to an overall low (15 states), moderate (19 states) or high (16 states) enforcement group. Consumption outcomes (past month, binge and heavy) came from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Results: Regression models show inverse associations between alcohol consumption and policy class, with past month alcohol consumption at 54% in the weakest policy class and 34% in the strongest. In adjusted models, the strong underage use policy class was consistently associated with lower consumption. Enforcement group did not affect the policy class and consumption associations. Discussion and conclusions: Results suggest strong alcohol policies, particularly underage use policies, may help to reduce alcohol consumption and related consequences. [Erickson DJ, Lenk KM, Toomey TL, Nelson TF, Jones-Webb R. The alcohol policy environment, enforcement, and consumption in the United States. Drug Alcohol Rev 2015;●●:●●-●●].
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Drug and Alcohol Review
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Little is known about the practices for stocking and procuring healthy food in non-traditional food retailers (e.g. gas-marts, pharmacies). The present study aimed to: (i) compare availability of healthy food items across small food store types; and (ii) examine owner/manager perceptions and stocking practices for healthy food across store types. Design: Descriptive analyses were conducted among corner/small grocery stores, gas-marts, pharmacies and dollar stores. Data from store inventories were used to examine availability of twelve healthy food types and an overall healthy food supply score. Interviews with managers assessed stocking practices and profitability. Setting: Small stores in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, USA, not participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Subjects: One hundred and nineteen small food retailers and seventy-one store managers. Results: Availability of specific items varied across store type. Only corner/small grocery stores commonly sold fresh vegetables (63 % v. 8 % of gas-marts, 0 % of dollar stores and 23 % of pharmacies). More than half of managers stocking produce relied on cash-and-carry practices to stock fresh fruit (53 %) and vegetables (55 %), instead of direct store delivery. Most healthy foods were perceived by managers to have at least average profitability. Conclusions: Interventions to improve healthy food offerings in small stores should consider the diverse environments, stocking practices and supply mechanisms of small stores, particularly non-traditional food retailers. Improvements may require technical support, customer engagement and innovative distribution practices.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Public Health Nutrition
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose . To identify and describe homogenous classes of male college students based on their weight-related behaviors (e.g., eating habits, physical activity, and unhealthy weight control) and to examine differences by sexual orientation. Design . Study design was a cross-sectional sample of 2- and 4-year college students. Setting . Study setting was forty-six 2- and 4-year colleges in Minnesota. Subjects . Study subjects comprised 10,406 college males. Measures . Measures were five categories of sexual orientation derived from self-reported sexual identity and behavior (heterosexual, discordant heterosexual [identifies as heterosexual and engages in same-sex sexual behavior], gay, bisexual, and unsure) and nine weight-related behaviors (including measures for eating habits, physical activity, and unhealthy weight control). Analysis . Latent class models were fit for each of the five sexual orientation groups, using the nine weight-related behaviors. Results . Overall, four classes were identified: "healthier eating habits" (prevalence range, 39.4%-77.3%), "moderate eating habits" (12.0%-30.2%), "unhealthy weight control" (2.6%-30.4%), and "healthier eating habits, more physically active" (35.8%). Heterosexual males exhibited all four patterns, gay and unsure males exhibited four patterns that included variations on the overall classes identified, discordant heterosexual males exhibited two patterns ("healthier eating habits" and "unhealthy weight control"), and bisexual males exhibited three patterns ("healthier eating habits," "moderate eating habits," and "unhealthy weight control"). Conclusion . Findings highlight the need for multibehavioral interventions for discordant heterosexual, gay, bisexual, and unsure college males, particularly around encouraging physical activity and reducing unhealthy weight control behaviors.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · American journal of health promotion: AJHP
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    ABSTRACT: Enforcement of alcohol-impaired driving laws is an important component of efforts to prevent alcohol-involved motor vehicle fatalities. Little is known about the use of drinking-driving enforcement strategies by state and local law enforcement agencies or whether the use of strategies differs by agency and jurisdiction characteristics. We conducted two national surveys, with state patrol agencies (n = 48) and with a sample of local law enforcement agencies (n = 1,082) selected according to state and jurisdiction population size. We examined 3 primary enforcement strategies (sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and enforcement of open container laws) and tested whether use of these strategies differed by jurisdiction and agency characteristics across state and local law enforcement agencies Most state patrol agencies reported conducting sobriety checkpoints (72.9%) and saturation patrols (95.8%), whereas less than half (43.8%) reported enforcing open container laws. In contrast, a lower proportion of local law enforcement agencies reported using these alcohol-impaired driving enforcement strategies (41.5, 62.7, and 41.1%, respectively). Sobriety checkpoint enforcement was more common in states in the dry South region (vs. wet and moderate regions). Among local law enforcement agencies, agencies with a full-time alcohol enforcement officer and agencies located in areas where drinking-driving was perceived to be very common (vs. not/somewhat common) were more likely to conduct multiple types of impaired driving enforcement. Recommended enforcement strategies to detect and prevent alcohol-impaired driving are employed in some jurisdictions and underutilized in others. Future research should explore the relationship of enforcement with drinking and driving behavior and alcohol-involved motor vehicle fatalities.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Traffic Injury Prevention
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    ABSTRACT: Google Street View (GSV) can be used as an effective tool to conduct virtual neighborhood audits. We expand on this research by exploring the utility of a GSV-based neighborhood audit to measure and match target and comparison study areas. We developed a GSV-based inventory to measure characteristics of retail alcohol stores and their surrounding neighborhoods. We assessed its reliability and assessed the utility of GSV-based audits for matching target and comparison study areas. We found that GSV-based neighborhood audits can be a useful, reliable, and cost-effective tool for matching target and comparison study areas when archival data are insufficient and primary data collection is prohibitive. We suggest that researchers focus on characteristics that are easily visible on GSV and are relatively stable over time when creating future GSV-based measuring and matching tools. Dividing the study area into small segments may also provide more accurate measurements and more precise matching. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Evaluation and program planning
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    ABSTRACT: To identify and describe homogenous profiles of female college students based on weight-related behaviors and examine differences across 5 sexual orientation groups. Data from the 2009-2013 College Student Health Survey (Minnesota-based survey of 2- and 4-year college students) were used to fit latent class models. Four profiles were identified across all sexual orientation groups: "healthier eating habits," "moderate eating habits," "unhealthy weight control," and "healthier eating habits, more physically active." Differences in patterns and prevalence of profiles across sexual orientation suggest need for interventions addressing insufficient physical activity and unhealthy weight control behaviors. Future interventions should consider the diversity of behavioral patterns across sexual orientation to more effectively address weight-related behavioral disparities.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · American journal of health behavior
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    ABSTRACT: All states in the U.S. prohibit alcohol-impaired driving but active law enforcement is necessary for effectively reducing this behavior. Sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, open container laws, and media campaigns related to enforcement efforts are all enforcement-related strategies for reducing alcohol-impaired driving. We conducted surveys of all state patrol agencies and a representative sample of local law enforcement agencies to assess their use of alcohol-impaired driving enforcement-related strategies and to determine the relationship between these enforcement-related strategies and self-reported alcohol-impaired driving behavior obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We found that sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and enforcement of open container laws were associated with a lower prevalence of alcohol-impaired driving but, more importantly, a combination of enforcement-related strategies was associated with a greater decrease in alcohol-impaired driving than any individual enforcement-related activity. In addition, alcohol-impaired driving enforcement-related strategies were associated with decreased alcohol-impaired driving above and beyond their association with decreased binge drinking. Results suggest law enforcement agencies should give greater priority to using a combination of strategies rather than relying on any one individual enforcement activity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Accident Analysis & Prevention
  • Nicole A. VanKim · Darin J. Erickson · Melissa N. Laska
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    ABSTRACT: Food shopping is a complex behavior that consists of multiple dimensions. Little research has explored multiple dimensions of food shopping or examined how it relates to dietary intake. To identify patterns (or classes) of food shopping across four domains (fresh food purchasing, conscientious food shopping, food shopping locations, and food/beverage purchasing on or near campus) and explore how these patterns relate to dietary intake among college students. A cross-sectional online survey was administered. Students attending a public 4-year university and a 2-year community college in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) metropolitan area (N=1,201) participated in this study. Fast-food and soda consumption as well as meeting fruit and vegetable, fiber, added sugar, calcium, dairy, and fat recommendations. Crude and adjusted latent class models and adjusted logistic regression models were fit. An eight-class solution was identified: "traditional shopper" (14.9%), "fresh food and supermarket shopper" (14.1%), "convenience shopper" (18.8%), "conscientious convenience shopper" (13.8%), "conscientious, fresh food, convenience shopper" (11.8%), "conscientious fresh food shopper" (6.6%), "conscientious nonshopper" (10.2%), and "nonshopper" (9.8%). "Fresh food and supermarket shoppers" and "conscientious fresh food shoppers" had better dietary intake (for fast food, calcium, dairy, and added sugar), whereas "convenience shoppers" and "conscientious convenience shoppers," and "nonshoppers" had worse dietary intake (for soda, calcium, dairy, fiber, and fat) than "traditional shoppers." These findings highlight unique patterns in food shopping and associated dietary patterns that could inform tailoring of nutrition interventions for college students. Additional research is needed to understand modifiable contextual influences of healthy food shopping. Copyright © 2015 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate consumption patterns of gay-oriented sexually explicit media (SEM) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Norway, with a particular emphasis on a possible relationship between gay SEM consumption and HIV risk behavior. Participants included 529 MSM living in Norway recruited online to complete a SEM consumption and sexual risk survey. Of the 507 participants who responded to the all items measuring exposure to SEM, 19% reported unprotected anal intercourse with a casual partner (UAI) in last 90 days, and 14% reported having had sero-discordant UAI. Among those with UAI experience, 23% reported receptive anal intercourse (R-UAI) and 37% reported insertive anal intercourse (I-UAI). SEM consumption was found to be significantly associated with sexual risk behaviors. Participants with increased consumption of bareback SEM reported higher odds of UAI and I-UAI after adjusting for other factors using multivariable statistics. MSM who started using SEM at a later age reported lower odds of UAI and I-UAI than MSM who started earlier. Future research should aim at understanding how MSM develop and maintain SEM preferences and the relationship between developmental and maintenance factors and HIV sexual risk behavior. © 2015 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: The viewing of sexually explicit media (SEM) is widespread, especially among men, and research linking SEM viewing and sexual behavior has shown a variety of results, some positive (e.g., sexuality education) and some negative (e.g., poorer body image). These results might be due to limitations in measuring SEM consumption, particularly around typology. The goal of the current study was to examine potential patterns of SEM viewing activities. Using data from an online survey of men who have sex with men (MSM), we conducted latent class analyses of 15 SEM activities. Results suggested a three-class solution. The most prevalent class included over 60% of men and was characterized by viewing primarily safer-sex or conventional behaviors. The second class included 32% of men and had a similar albeit amplified pattern of viewing. The final class included just 7% of men and was marked by high levels of viewing of all activities, including fetish and kink. Compared to the conventional or safer-sex class, the other classes had lower internalized homonegativity, lower condom use self-efficacy, and higher SEM consumption or dose. Implications for HIV prevention, sexuality research and the SEM industry are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated what local enforcement agencies are doing to target adults who provide alcohol to underage youth; what types of enforcement activities are being conducted to target adult providers; and factors that encourage enforcement activities that target adult providers. We surveyed 1,056 local law enforcement agencies in the US and measured whether or not the agency conducted enforcement activities that target adults who provide alcohol to underage youth. We also measured whether certain agency and jurisdiction characteristics were associated with enforcement activities that target adults who provide alcohol to underage youth. Less than half (42 %) of local enforcement agencies conducted enforcement efforts targeting adults who provide alcohol to underage youth. Agencies that conducted the enforcement activities targeting adult providers were significantly more likely to have a full time officer specific to alcohol enforcement, a division specific to alcohol enforcement, a social host law, and to perceive underage drinking was very common. Results suggest that targeting social providers (i.e., adults over 21 years of age) will require greater law enforcement resources, implementation of underage drinking laws (e.g., social host policies), and changing perceptions among law enforcement regarding underage drinking. Future studies are needed to identify the most effective enforcement efforts and to examine how enforcement efforts are prospectively linked to alcohol consumption.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Community Health
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    ABSTRACT: In matched-pair analyses, study groups are matched with comparison groups on certain criteria to control for extraneous factors that may confound results (e.g., socioeconomic status). In some cases, available archival data sources are not sufficient to make a good match. To address this problem, we developed a new methodology using an innovative data source, virtual geographic imaging (VGI) technology, to identify appropriate comparisons. Our broader study evaluates effects of local malt liquor policies on urban crime. Beginning with three pilot cities, we will compare crime rates around alcohol outlets that are subject to local restrictions on high-alcohol malt liquor sales, with crime rates around similar outlets that are not subject to the restrictions. To identify comparison outlets, we first matched on neighborhood demographics and alcohol outlet densities. We then conducted VGI observations on the five closest matches to inform our final selection. Our VGI instrument measures store type (e.g., grocery versus liquor), opportunity to loiter (e.g., adjacent parking lot), land use (e.g., commercial versus residential), infrastructure condition (e.g., boarded windows) and social disorder (e.g., adjacent adult bookstore). We confirmed the reliability of our instrument by comparing VGI results with results from in-person observations in all three cities. We assessed inter-rater reliability in a sample of 25 outlets and found good concordance. We concluded that VGI observations can be a reliable and useful tool for matching target and comparison groups when archival data sources are inadequate and in-person observations are not feasible. We will describe VGI measurement methodology and potential applications.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Background: How does what we see influence what we do? This study sought to study consumption patterns of gay-oriented sexually explicit media (SEM) by men who have sex with men (MSM); and to investigate a hypothesized relationship between gay SEM consumption and HIV risk behavior. Methods: Participants were 1391 MSM living in the US recruited online to complete a SEM consumption and sexual risk survey. We build linear, quadratic, quadratic term and nominal models to assess the relationship between gay SEM consumption and HIV risk behavior Results: Almost all (98.5%) reported some gay SEM exposure over the last 90 days, with 97.8% reporting watching online. Median dosage was 24.9 minute per day or 2.9 hours per week. While 41% reported a preference to watch actors perform anal sex without condoms (termed “bareback SEM”), 17% preferred to watch actors perform anal sex with condoms (termed “safer sex SEM”) and 42% reported no preference. Overall SEM consumption was not associated with HIV risk; however, participants who watched more bareback SEM and/or who preferred bareback SEM reported significantly greater odds of engaging in risk behavior. Conclusions: Gay SEM consumption appears normative and extremely common among MSM. While SEM consumption does not predict risk, a preference for bareback SEM and greater exposure to bareback SEM was associated with increased risk behavior. In advancing HIV prevention for MSM, research to investigate causality and to identify new ways to use SEM in HIV prevention, is recommended.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: In the United States, 17 states use some form of state-run system for the distribution of beer, wine and/or spirits for off-premise outlets (control states). Over the last few decades some states, most recently Washington, have privatized a part or all of their distribution system despite a recommendation by the U.S. Community Preventive Services Task Force against privatizing retail sales of alcohol. In the present study we examined how 17 alcohol control policies differed in control (n=18; including Washington) compared with privatized states (n=32), using data obtained from the Alcohol Policy Information System for 2009. We assigned a score for each of the 17 policies in each state based on the level of the policy’s restrictiveness. Scores were developed based on both theoretical and empirical evidence for the available data. In addition, we created summary scores for policies in four domains (underage use, provision to underage, servers, and alcohol availability) and an overall summary score across all 17 policies. Differences in the mean scores between control and privatized states were assessed using the nonparametric Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney test. We also analyzed differences among the control states based on levels of policy restrictiveness. We found that control and privatized states did not differ for any of the 17 alcohol control policies or across the summed scores. Control states do not appear to be more or less restrictive than privatized states on other alcohol control policies. These findings suggest that a state’s alcohol distribution system is independent of its overall policy environment.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Background: There is a high co-occurrence of alcohol use with tobacco use and therefore, it is important to identify trajectories of comorbidity to understand these behaviors. Furthermore, the risk factors that produce comorbid behaviors may differ from those that produce a single behavior. Methods: Data were derived from a multi-wave study of adolescents, the Minnesota Adolescent Community Cohort study, a population-based, observational cohort study. We fit trajectories to alcohol and tobacco use from ages 18 to 27, and then did analyses to explicitly identify trajectories of concurrent drinking and smoking. Results: We identified five trajectories of heavy drinking, including light or non-drinkers (69.4%), late onset moderately heavy drinkers (13.6%), late onset very heavy drinkers (4.2%), developmentally limited heavy drinkers (9.2%), and chronic heavy drinkers (3.6%), and four trajectories of smoking , including non or light smokers (47.1%), moderate smokers (24.4%), late onset heavy smokers (4.9%), and chronic heavy smokers (23.6%). Although the majority of participants in comorbid trajectories were light or non-drinkers, nearly half were either moderate-to- high drinkers or smokers, or some combination thereof. Detailed results will be reported, including risk factors associated with comorbidity. Conclusion: Overall, results support positive comorbidity between alcohol and tobacco trajectories through young adulthood. Additionally, identification of common drinking and smoking clusters might provide information for targeted prevention or treatment initiatives.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Over-service of alcohol (i.e., sales to obviously intoxicated patrons) at bars and restaurants can lead to various alcohol-related harms including drinking-driving and violence. To address this issue, we developed the Enhanced Alcohol Risk Management (eARM) program, a hybrid training program for bars and restaurants that includes online and in-person components for managers and servers. The ultimate goal of eARM is to reduce sales to intoxicated patrons; intermediate goals include adopting and implementing effective management policies for servers to follow. Methods: Prior to implementation of eARM we surveyed 328 managers and 241 servers at 328 alcohol establishments to assess managers’ implementation of responsible service policies and servers’ knowledge and perception of these policies. Results: We found that less than half of the establishments implemented responsible service policies such as distributing alcohol policies to servers before their first shift and having procedures in place for refusing sales to intoxicated patrons. Close to 85% of managers state that internal management is consistent in enforcing policies, but only 55% of servers feel there is consistent communication and enforcement amongst managers. Conclusion: Despite sales to intoxicated patrons being illegal, we found that alcohol establishments need to improve implementation of policies to address this issue. Training for alcohol establishments on implementing effective policies and procedures is needed.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Most states in the U.S. prohibit alcohol sales to underage and obviously intoxicated patrons. Researchers first began assessing likelihood of alcohol sales to underage people in the early 1990’s and found that sales rates were 75-100%. A decade later, the likelihood of sales to youth dropped to 26-39%. This decrease is most likely attributed to the increased intervention and enforcement that occurred during this time. During the late 1990’s researchers also began assessing the likelihood of sales to obviously intoxicated patrons and found estimated sales rates up to 79%. However, there has been less active intervention and enforcement of sales to intoxicated individuals compared to underage sales over the past few decades. We assessed the likelihood of sales to individuals who appear obviously intoxicated to determine if any progress has been made on this issue. Methods. We conducted pseudo-intoxicated purchase attempts (actors feigned intoxication and attempted to purchase alcohol) at 326 bars and restaurants during 2012 and 2013 as part of baseline data collection for a large prevention trial. Observations of establishment and server characteristics (e.g., server age) were recorded at the time of each purchase attempt. Results. Pseudo-intoxicated individuals were able to purchase alcohol at 82% of the establishments. Few establishment or server characteristics were associated with likelihood of an alcohol sale. Conclusion. In stark contrast to the success with reducing alcohol sales to underage, a very high rate of illegal sales to obviously intoxicated patrons continues to occur. Implications of study findings will be discussed.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: A range of state-level policies have been identified to target population-level rates of alcohol use; however, a given type of alcohol policy may vary in strength across states. We assessed associations between the strength of 17 types of U.S. state-level alcohol control policies and adult alcohol consumption levels. We coded each policy (using the Alcohol Policy Information System) based on its strength, and conceptually combined the policies into four domains: underage consumption/possession, provision to underage, general availability, and server policies. We then used latent class analysis to group states based on domain-level strength scores, identifying four classes: (1) Weak policies except for strong server policies (6 states); (2) Average for all policies (29 states); (3) Strong underage consumption/possession policies but otherwise average policies (11 states); (4) Strong policies overall (4 states). We measured adult alcohol consumption (monthly, binge, and heavy) from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Crude comparisons showed that for all three consumption measures, mean state-level consumption was highest for Class 1, followed by Class 2, Class, 3, and lowest for Class 4. We regressed alcohol consumption on the four classes using a multi-level model, controlling for individual demographics and state-level total population and religiosity. Using Class 2 as the referent, we found that Classes 1, 3 and 4 had lower binge drinking (p < .05). Similar patterns were seen for monthly and heavy alcohol use. We conclude that, in general, states with stronger alcohol policy environments have lower adult alcohol consumption, although causal inferences cannot be made.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading factor in nearly 10,000 motor vehicle fatalities annually in the U.S. Enactment of various state laws has contributed to a reduction in alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities over the past 40 years. Two types of these laws are those that permit use of sobriety checkpoints and those that prohibit open containers of alcohol in motor vehicles. We compared rates of alcohol-impaired driving in states that permit sobriety checkpoints with states that do not, and, similarly, compared states that prohibit open containers with states that do not as of 2010. Data on sobriety checkpoint laws were obtained from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; data on open container laws were obtained from the Alcohol Policy Information System. We measured alcohol-impaired driving in the past 30 days using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Sobriety checkpoints are permitted in 36 states; open containers of alcohol are prohibited in motor vehicles in 43 states. We conducted multilevel regression analysis (individual-level outcome, state-level predictor), adjusting for demographics (e.g., sex, age) at the individual level, and state population and religiosity at the state level. States that permit sobriety checkpoints had significantly lower levels of alcohol-impaired driving. There was not a significant association between prohibition of open containers and alcohol-impaired driving. Additional results on how associations are affected by enforcement efforts of state patrol agencies will be presented. We conclude that legal restrictions on the use of sobriety checkpoints in some states may be constraining efforts to further reduce alcohol-impaired driving.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. We assessed disparities in weight and weight-related behaviors among college students by sexual orientation and gender. Methods. We performed cross-sectional analyses of pooled annual data (2007-2011; n = 33 907) from students participating in a Minnesota state-based survey of 40 two- and four-year colleges and universities. Sexual orientation included heterosexual, gay or lesbian, bisexual, unsure, and discordant heterosexual (heterosexuals engaging in same-sex sexual experiences). Dependent variables included weight status (derived from self-reported weight and height), diet (fruits, vegetables, soda, fast food, restaurant meals, breakfast), physical activity, screen time, unhealthy weight control, and body satisfaction. Results. Bisexual and lesbian women were more likely to be obese than heterosexual and discordant heterosexual women. Bisexual women were at high risk for unhealthy weight, diet, physical activity, and weight control behaviors. Gay and bisexual men exhibited poor activity patterns, though gay men consumed significantly less regular soda (and significantly more diet soda) than heterosexual men. Conclusions. We observed disparities in weight-, diet-, and physical activity-related factors across sexual orientation among college youths. Additional research is needed to better understand these disparities and the most appropriate intervention strategies to address them. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print November 13, 2014: e1-e11. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302094).
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · American Journal of Public Health

Publication Stats

2k Citations
284.54 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003-2015
    • University of Minnesota Duluth
      • Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
      Duluth, Minnesota, United States
  • 2005
    • University of Florida
      • College of Medicine
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 2001
    • University of Minnesota Twin Cities
      Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
    • Boston University
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2000
    • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
      • National Center for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
      Washington, D. C., DC, United States
  • 1996-1998
    • University of Missouri
      • Department of Psychological Sciences
      Columbia, Missouri, United States