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The Center studies heavy drinking over the life course and its risk factors both in general populations and specific subgroups. We examine race, ethnicity and socio-economic disadvantage to better understand health disparities. Our studies pay close attention to life course and environmental influences, such as early and current economic disadvantage or victimization, neighborhood characteristics, and state policies promoting or restraining heavy drinking. In new ways, we model how trends can be analyzed by age (maturation), period (secular shifts) and birth cohort (generational culture surrounding drinking initiation).