Mapping the complex causal mechanisms of drinking and driving behaviors among adolescents and young adults.

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From: Social Science & Medicine(Vol. 296)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report
Length: 536 words

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Keywords Youth drinking and driving; System dynamics; Peers; Parental monitoring; Health policies; Alcohol Highlights * Fatalities related to alcohol-impaired driving in the U.S. have not changed since 1997. * Major risk factors include binge drinking, peer influences, and alcohol marketing. * Parental monitoring, regulations, and enforcement are protecting factors. * We present the first map of feedback mechanisms regulating alcohol-impaired driving. Abstract Background The proportion of motor vehicle crash fatalities involving alcohol-impaired drivers declined substantially between 1982 and 1997, but progress stopped after 1997. The systemic complexity of alcohol-impaired driving contributes to the persistence of this problem. This study aims to identify and map key feedback mechanisms that affect alcohol-impaired driving among adolescents and young adults in the U.S. Methods We apply the system dynamics approach to the problem of alcohol-impaired driving and bring a feedback perspective for understanding drivers and inhibitors of the problem. The causal loop diagram (i.e., map of dynamic hypotheses about the structure of the system producing observed behaviors over time) developed in this study is based on the output of two group model building sessions conducted with multidisciplinary subject-matter experts bolstered with extensive literature review. Results The causal loop diagram depicts diverse influences on youth impaired driving including parents, peers, policies, law enforcement, and the alcohol industry. Embedded in these feedback loops are the physical flow of youth between the categories of abstainers, drinkers who do not drive after drinking, and drinkers who drive after drinking. We identify key inertial factors, discuss how delay and feedback processes affect observed behaviors over time, and suggest strategies to reduce youth impaired driving. Conclusion This review presents the first causal loop diagram of alcohol-impaired driving among adolescents and it is a vital first step toward quantitative simulation modeling of the problem. Through continued research, this model could provide a powerful tool for understanding the systemic complexity of impaired driving among adolescents, and identifying effective prevention practices and policies to reduce youth impaired driving. Author Affiliation: (a) Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, USA (b) School of Integrated Sciences, James Madison University, USA (c) Department of Health & Exercise Science, Colorado State University, USA (d) NORC at the University of Chicago, USA (e) Division of Population Health Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, USA (f) Department of Emergency Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, USA (g) Yale Developmental Neurocognitive Driving Simulation Research Center (DrivSim Lab), Yale School of Medicine, USA (h) The CDM Group, Inc, USA (i) Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, USA (j) Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, USA (k) Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany--SUNY, USA * Corresponding author. Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, 7054 Haycock Road, Falls Church, VA, 22043, USA. Article History: Received 16 July 2021; Revised 22 October 2021; Accepted 15 January 2022 Byline: Niyousha Hosseinichimeh [niyousha@vt.edu] (a,*), Rod MacDonald (b), Kaigang Li (c), James C. Fell (d), Denise L. Haynie (e), Bruce Simons-Morton (e), Barbara C. Banz (f,g), Deepa R. Camenga (f,g), Ronald J. Iannotti (h), Leslie A. Curry (i), James Dziura (f), Linda C. Mayes (j), David F. Andersen (k), Federico E. Vaca (f,g,j)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A694632567