Policy Fellow Paul Gilbert

Paul Gilbert

Paul Gilbert is an assistant professor in the Community and Behavioral Health Department at the College of Public Health. He conducts research to understand and address alcohol-related disparities. He is particularly interested in ways that gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation shape drinking patterns, risk of alcohol use disorders, and utilization of treatment services.

As a policy fellow in the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy, Gilbert looked at ways to reduce underage drinking, specifically through social host liability laws. Social host liability maintains that adults who provide alcohol to minors, or who allow minors to consume alcohol on their property, should be accountable for violations of the minimum legal drinking age. In 2014, the Iowa state code was amended to enact a statewide social host liability law that covers all jurisdictions.

Gilbert assessed variation in enforcement of Iowa’s social host liability law. He reviewed statewide enforcement records and interview stakeholders to understand when and how the law is being enforced, including barriers to enforcement. Then, Gilbert drew on the local knowledge and scientific literature to make recommendations to strengthen Iowa’s adolescent alcohol prevention policy.

Learn more about it

See Gilbert’s white paper, “Underage Drinking & Alcohol Policy in Iowa: A Study of Social Host Prohibitions & Other Prevention Strategies,” that summarizes his work during the fellowship.