Inconsistencies in Place Definition: How Different Operational Place Definitions Affect Estimates of Adolescent Smoking and Drinking Risk

Brady, J. & Weitzman, B.C.
Health and Place, Vol. 13, No. 2.

We find that estimates of the prevalence of teenage smoking and drinking in "urban," "suburban," and "rural" areas vary with different definitions of these types of geographic units. Given the salience of youth risk behavior to the public debate, we urge researchers to purposefully choose their definitions of geographic areas and to be explicit about those choices.

Wagner Faculty