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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Public Health | doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00265

Impact of alcohol outlet density on reported cases of child maltreatment in Japan: a fixed-effect analysis

  • 1Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan

Parental drinking habits or binge drinking are a known risk factor of child maltreatment. Though drinking habits are affected by alcohol outlet density, the direct association between alcohol outlet density and child maltreatment is still controversial.
This study aimed to examine the impact of off-premises alcohol outlet density on child maltreatment cases reported to Child Guidance Centers in Japan.
A fixed-effect model was used to investigate the association between a change in off-premises alcohol outlet density and a change in child maltreatment cases in each unit. Time-series of cross-sectional ecological data collected from across Japan over 16 years (2000 to 2015) was used, and maltreatment cases were further sub-grouped by type of maltreatment (physical, sexual, psychological abuse and neglect) and by perpetrators (father, stepfather, mother and stepmother).
The association between alcohol outlet density and total cases of child maltreatment was not observed (coefficient = 0.98, 95% confidence interval: -6.30, 8.25). However, alcohol outlet density was shown to be positively associated with neglect (coefficient = 3.08, 95% confidence interval: 0.54, 5.62), which indicates that 1 alcohol outlet per 1,000 adults increase would lead to 3 more neglect cases per 10,000 children. Also, a negative association was observed between a change in the incidence of total child maltreatment by father and a change in alcohol outlet density (coefficient = -3.03, 95% confidence interval: -5.78, -0.28).
The findings suggest that drinking habits may have a causal effect on the increasing cases of neglect and decrease in maltreatment by father in Japan.

Keywords: child maltreatment, Child Abuse, child neglect, alcohol outlet, Fixed effect analysis

Received: 08 Mar 2019; Accepted: 30 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Koyama and Fujiwara. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Takeo Fujiwara, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Bunkyō, Japan,