We investigated the role of the alcohol environment in explaining disparities in homicide rates among minorities in 10 cities in the United States using 2003 data from the Malt Liquor and Homicide study. We hypothesized that (a) higher concentrations of African Americans would be associated with higher homicide rates, as well as higher alcohol and malt liquor availability and promotion, and (b) the relationship between neighborhood racial/ethnic concentration and homicide would be attenuated by the greater alcohol and malt liquor availability and promotion in African American neighborhoods. Hypotheses were tested using separate Poisson, linear, and logistic regression models that corrected for spatial autocorrelation. Census block groups served as the unit of analysis (n = 450). We found that higher concentrations of African Americans were associated with higher homicide rates as well as greater alcohol availability, especially malt liquor availability. The promotion of malt liquor on storefronts was also significantly greater in African American than in other neighborhoods. However, none of the measures representing alcohol or malt liquor availability and promotion variables changed the effect of neighborhood racial/ethnic concentration on homicide. Limitations and implications of our findings are discussed.
- African American
- Alcohol availability and promotion
- Malt liquor