- Funding: NIAAA P50 AA05595
- Principal Investigator: Thomas K. Greenfield, PhD
The Alcohol Research Group (ARG) is a multidisciplinary research center whose focus is to conduct research on alcohol use patterns and associated problems and dissemination of research findings. Our research team is comprised of epidemiologists, psychologists, economists and researchers in other disciplines.
National Alcohol Research Center: Epidemiology of Alcohol Problems
Epidemiology of Alcohol Problems, a National Alcohol Research Center, currently led by Principal Investigator, Thomas Greenfield, PhD, has been supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for three and a half decades via Center Grant P50 AA005595. The Center’s senior leaders in addition to Greenfield include its two Associate Directors, Dr. William C. Kerr and Dr. Sarah E. Zemore. Dr. Zemore serves as the Center’s Director of Training and is PI of the T32 Training grant. She also leads the enrichment speakers’ program. This program brings nationally and internationally renowned scientists to present their new research and to meet with staff and fellows on common interests. Dr. Kerr serves as the Associate Director for Research Partnerships and in that role he has broad responsibilities for encouraging and supporting collaborative research partnerships with other centers and research organizations, including university-based and independent research organizations groups offering compatible and complementary expertise and disciplines. He also assists Dr. Greenfield in Center administrative duties.
The Center studies heavy drinking over the life course and its risk factors both in general populations and specific subgroups. We examine race, ethnicity and socioeconomic disadvantage to better understand health disparities. Our studies pay close attention to life course and environmental influences (like early and current economic disadvantage or victimization, neighborhood characteristics, and state policies promoting or restraining heavy drinking). In new ways, we model how trends can be analyzed by age (maturation), period (secular shifts) and birth cohort (generational culture surrounding drinking initiation). Over the years we have made numerous innovations in measurement, survey modality and analytic techniques based on the Center’s methodological studies projects.
The backbone of the Center is its National Alcohol Survey is a series with highly comparable, cross-sectional US adult population data collected every 5 years. We explore relationships between drinking patterns and highly specific problems, as well as risk and protective factors such as drug taking, disability, poverty, resilience and access to services. We address new topics that are emerging as crucial alcohol policy concerns, e.g., disparities, interpersonal violence, the economic recession and alcohol’s harm to others. Studying Health services and recovery epidemiology is an important aspect of our research. We continually test, improve, and adopt innovative techniques, and plan critically needed methodological studies to fill gaps in knowledge.
Training and Enrichment
The Center is enriched by its partnerships with many research centers and universities, and national and international organizations. Under the aegis of the UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, ARG also houses a highly successful NIAAA T32 Training Program in Alcohol Epidemiology for a diverse and multi-disciplinary group of pre- and post-doctoral fellows, who are mentored by our faculty. We also pilot new approaches and continue to make discoveries in population epidemiology and services research that benefit the alcohol and public health fields and the Nation and throughout the world.
Administrative Core – Thomas K. Greenfield, Director
Statistical and Data Services Core – Jason Bond, Director
National Alcohol Surveys (NAS) Resources – Thomas K. Greenfield, Director; Katherine Karriker-Jaffe, Study Director
Pilot Studies – Lee Ann Kaskutas, Director
Epidemiological Analysis of the National Alcohol Survey – William Kerr, Director
Methodologies for Improving Measurement of Alcohol Use and Problems – Cheryl Cherpitel, Director
Race/ethnicity, Socioeconomic Disadvantage, and Disparities in Alcohol Problems – Nina Mulia and Sarah Zemore, Co-Directors