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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 784-799; doi:10.3390/ijerph120100784

Neighborhood Environment Perceptions and the Likelihood of Smoking and Alcohol Use

Institute for Biobehavioral Health Research, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., 1920 143rd Street, Suite 120, Leawood, KS 66224, USA
Department of Kinesiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
Departments of Psychology and Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA
School of Education, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 615 E. 52nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 31 October 2014 / Accepted: 9 January 2015 / Published: 14 January 2015
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Neighborhood characteristics are important correlates for a variety of health outcomes. Among several health risk behaviors, smoking and alcohol use have significant consequences. Perceptions of neighborhood problems are associated with depressive symptoms, lower physical activity, and lower quality of life. However, it is unclear which perceived aspects of neighborhoods might be related to smoking and drinking. We examined whether perceived neighborhood characteristics were associated with smoking and drinking patterns using data from US metropolitan Midwestern area adults. Participants completed surveys including sociodemographic characteristics, neighborhood perceptions, behavioral and psychological health. For men, negative perceptions of neighborhood infrastructures were significant predictors for smoking and binge drinking. Among women, no perceived environmental factors were associated with smoking or drinking. However, education was a significant negative predictor for smoking. As age increased, the likelihood of using cigarettes, heavy and binge drinking in women decreased significantly. Depression was a positive predictor for smoking and heavy drinking in men and women, respectively. These findings indicate that the perceived neighborhood infrastructure was predictive of health behaviors among men, even after adjusting for key confounders. Closer attention may need to be paid to the role of neighborhood environmental characteristics along with individual-level characteristics in influencing unhealthy behaviors. View Full-Text
Keywords: neighborhood perceptions; neighborhood environment; smoking; heavy drinking; binge drinking; alcohol use neighborhood perceptions; neighborhood environment; smoking; heavy drinking; binge drinking; alcohol use
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jitnarin, N.; Heinrich, K.M.; Haddock, C.K.; Hughey, J.; Berkel, L.; Poston, W.S. Neighborhood Environment Perceptions and the Likelihood of Smoking and Alcohol Use. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 784-799.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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