Post-doctoral Training Program

The Prevention Research Center (PRC) of PIRE was founded in 1983, and is located in Berkeley, California. PRC is one of sixteen centers sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), of the National Institutes of Health, and is the only one that specializes in prevention. PRC's focus is on conducting research to better understand the social and physical environments that influence individual behavior that lead to alcohol and drug misuse. The Center operates with the following objectives:

  • Undertake innovative prevention research and approaches that contribute to informed decisions about cost-effective prevention programs and policies at the local, state and national levels.
  • Summarize new and existing knowledge about prevention theories, policies, and programs, and disseminate this information to professional, academic, and community audiences.
  • To provide multidisciplinary training and research opportunities

The current Center grant emphasizes the development of integrated approaches to both basic research and applied prevention science, building upon our commitments to: (1) longer term, longitudinal research; (2) developmental research in new areas with prevention research promise; and (3) natural extensions of existing research that will replicate and confirm prior findings. The proposed research extends these commitments, examining the multiple interacting contexts of alcohol use and problems (e.g., work, home and family), the multi-level interactions of environmental characteristics and individual determinants of drinking (e.g., alcohol outlets and youth drinking), and the complex interacting policy environments of state level policy change. Alcohol Outlets and Underage Sales proposes a series of geostatistical studies of the spatial and temporal relationships between alcohol outlets and problems involving underage drinkers. Alcohol Availability and Underage Drinking develops data from the same multilevel survey to consider the role of availability as it contributes to drinking and problem behaviors among young people. State Level Availability and Alcohol Problems takes an integrated approach to evaluating the impact of different state level alcohol policy interventions (e.g., beverage prices and availability) in an effort to understand, and ultimately predict, the determinants of differences between states. Dissemination and Adoption of Science-Based Prevention, as a new component, reflects the growing maturity of environmental prevention. This component will disseminate science-based prevention programs and explore the impact of dissemination.

Other studies within the Center include adolescent sexuality, which focuses on the role that exposure to sexual content in the media may play in the development of adolescents' sexual attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors; family-based adolescent drug/alcohol prevention studies that explore family relationships, and parental influences; and young adult prevention studies that address drug/alcohol use/problems as they relate to adult transitions.

Areas of Expertise

  • Policies and programmatic strategies to control access to alcohol
  • Mass media influences on drinking and related problems
  • Workplace alcohol problems and programs
  • Relationship of health care finance to alcohol and drug treatment
  • Cultural practices and norms related to alcohol and drug consumption
  • Application of mathematical models to analyze patterns of alcohol consumption and strategies to alter consumption and related problems
  • Geo-spatial distribution of tobacco-related disease and associated health care costs
  • Geography of underage tobacco sales
  • Risk-management strategy and prevention