Other research has supported associations between neighborhood problems and negative affect (Businelle toward et al., 2010; Echeverria et al., 2008), and links between depression and enhanced sensitization to the effects of stressful circumstances, which can be neurochemically relieved by smoking (Balfour & Ridley, 2000). Thus, our results indicating an association between living in problematic neighborhoods and secondary motives for tobacco dependence suggests that stress and negative affect may be important underlying mechanisms of interest. Definitive information, however, awaits longitudinal studies with a focus on meditational linkages among neighborhood characteristics, stress and negative affect, and smoking. Our results suggest that AA smokers from troubled neighborhoods experience greater tobacco dependence.
Although the cross-sectional design of the current study precludes any conclusions about causal pathways between neighborhood perceptions and tobacco dependence, results suggest intervention pathways that can be explored among people endorsing greater neighborhood problems and vigilance, and places marked by these characteristics, in future research. For example, results suggest that individual as well as contextual or place-based interventions for tobacco dependence should focus on both primary and secondary motives for tobacco use. Supporting the potential for area-level interventions to affect tobacco dependence is laboratory-based animal research suggesting that enhancing environmental conditions can treat or even prevent drug addiction (Solinas, Chauvet, Thiriet, El Rawas, & Jaber, 2008; Solinas et al.
, 2010). Likewise, researchers who study humans have suggested that the modification of the neighborhood context may exert positive effects on residents�� health and health-related behaviors, including smoking rates (Echeverria et al., 2008; Ludwig et al., 2011). Such place-based interventions might entail policy- or community-level AV-951 changes to address the mechanisms that contribute to the link between problematic neighborhoods and secondary tobacco dependence. In this study, secondary analyses indicated that when both neighborhood predictors were considered jointly in a single model, only neighborhood problems maintained independent significance in its associations with tobacco dependence. This pattern of results may reflect the interdependence and shared variance between individual-level neighborhood problems and neighborhood vigilance (neighborhoods with more physical problems engender the need for greater vigilance among residents), despite the fact that correlations between these measures were moderate in this sample (r = .45).