Numerous research on the association between binge drinking behavior and depression, and shows that the relationship exists but the causality between them is unclear. Defined by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2010), drinking 5 or more alcoholic drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days is considered as binge drinking. Depression is one of the negative outcomes of binge drinking, especially among the population of early adults (18-25 years). Pedrelli, Shapero, Archibald, and Dale (2016) state that both problematic alcohol use and depression are prevalent among adolescents and young adults. The purpose …show more content…
Binge drinking was measured by binge drinkers (males having five or more drinks on one occasion, females having four or more drinks on one occasion) and depression was measured by the question “Ever told you that you have a form of depression?”. The prevalence of both variables are the crude percentage of the participants with “yes” answers of the total target population. The two chosen variables are aggregated data, and appropriate for ecological study. In addition, the data are state-preventive and could be visualized by GIS to show the crude relationship between binge drinking and depression. Two tools are employed in this project. First of all, the downloaded tables could not be fully utilized by ArcGIS, and I cannot use other tools to manipulate the Excel files, so I use the Conversion Tools to convert the Excel file into table. Second, because there are a lot of unnecessary variables and information in the raw data, I chose Data Management Tool – Joins – Join Field to select the necessary variables to combine the data into the shape files downloaded from …show more content…
By the visual observation of the map, the binge drinking rate is higher in the north states than the south ones, especially on the east coast, while the depression rate is also relatively high on the east coast. Nevertheless, in the middle-north of America is high prevalence of binge drinking with moderate depression rate, which cannot explain the binge drinking by depression. Although the association between binge drinking and depression shown on the map is not so obvious, we can tell the crude association from the map.
According to the nature of ecology study, ecological fallacy is the most prominent of this project, which means the aggregated data could not represent the individual data and might lead to false conclusion from the study.
As stated in the results, some states with high depression rate but low binge drinking rate could be explained by this project, and many other factors are not controlled. For example, gender, SES, education levels, family violence, and community educations have significant effects on the depression and binge drinking behaviors (Costello,