Alcohol Policies and Child Maltreatment
Posted: 13 Jun 2007
The purpose of this project is to empirically estimate the propensity for alcohol-related public policies to influence rates of child abuse and neglect. The alcohol regulations of interest include beer, wine, and liquor taxes and prices, drunk driving laws, and licenses to sell liquor. The public health and policy relevance of the project derive from the extremely detrimental effects of parental substance abuse problems on the health and well being of children. The close association of parental alcohol abuse and the maltreatment of children suggests that public policies, and alcohol control policies in particular, can play a role in improving the lives of abused children. The first aim of the project is to estimate the effects of alcohol control policies in reducing the number of families and the number of children with confirmed or suspected reports of child maltreatment. The second aim is to estimate the effects of alcohol control policies in reducing the number of children with confirmed or suspected reports of the following specific types of child maltreatment: a) physical abuse; b) neglect or deprivation of necessities; c) medical neglect; d) sexual abuse; and e) psychological or emotional abuse or neglect. The third aim is to investigate the effects of alcohol control policies in reducing the number of children who die as a result of abuse or neglect. The fourth aim is to explore the effects of alcohol control policies in reducing the total number of children entering foster care and the number of children who enter foster care because of an alcohol-abusing parent, or because of their own alcohol abuse. The final aim is to estimate the effects of alcohol control policies in reducing the length of time spent in foster care. This project uses secondary data from two federal data collections and other sources to estimate a reduced form equation which relates alcohol prices and policies to measures of child maltreatment. Child maltreatment will be represented by state-level counts of child abuse and neglect and children entering foster care. Count models will be used as the primary estimation technique, although a duration analysis will also be used to estimate the effects that stricter alcohol control policies may have in reducing the length of time children spend in foster care. All models will also control for other state level factors which may confound the relationships between alcohol control policies and child maltreatment.
Keywords: alcohol, prices, child maltreatment
JEL Classification: I12, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation