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Inadequate child supervision: The role of alcohol outlet density, parent drinking behaviors, and social support.

Supervisory neglect, or the failure of a caregiver to appropriately supervise a child, is one of the predominant types of neglectful behaviors, with alcohol use being considered a key antecedent to inadequate supervision of children. The current study builds on previous work by examining the role of parental drinking and alcohol outlet densities while controlling for caregiver and child characteristics. Data were obtained from 3,023 participants via a telephone survey from 50 cities throughout California. The telephone survey included items on neglectful parenting practices, drinking behaviors, and socio-demographic characteristics. Densities of alcohol outlets were measured for each of the 202 zip codes in the study. Multilevel Bernoulli models were used to analyze the relationship between four supervisory neglect parenting practices and individual-level and zip code-level variables. In our study, heavy drinking was only significantly related to one of our four outcome variables (leaving a child where he or she may not be safe). The density of on premise alcohol outlets was positively related to leaving a child home alone when an adult should be present. This study demonstrates that discrete relationships exist between alcohol related variables, social support, and specific supervisory neglect subtypes at the ecological and individual levels.

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