Social and individual-level factors in the etiology and treatment of alcohol misuse; affective and cognitive determinants of heavy drinking; PTSD-alcohol use disorder comorbidity
I am interested in the etiology of and intervention for hazardous alcohol and other substance use. My most recent work has focused around two areas: (1) psychosocial determinants of problem substance use, particularly among young adults, and (2) the intersection of trauma and posttraumatic stress symptoms with alcohol and other drugs.
My research on young adult drinking has examined both environmental and individual determinants of alcohol use utilizing laboratory and survey approaches. In particular, my research examines how individual-level factors such as gender, affective state, and alcohol cognitions (e.g., expectancies, motives) may account for differential responses to the social environment. We recently have begun an NIAAA-funded examination of geospatial risk for affect-driven substance use (R21 AA029279-01A1) to understand how alcohol cues in our daily environment may contribute to drinking risk.
In the area of the intersection of trauma, posttraumatic stress, and substance use, I have been funded by both federal (e.g., National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute on Drug Abuse) and private organizations to study complex associations among trauma, posttraumatic stress, and drinking. This includes longitudinal studies of associations between these two clinical phenomena, as well as laboratory-based studies of co-occurrence. Much of my recent work is focused on understanding the role of alcohol in a particular type of trauma, sexual assault. One line of work seeks to understand women’s developmental and contextual risk for alcohol-involved sexual assault, and the other is studying how friends can help prevent alcohol-involved assault risk (R01 AA016105; R34AA027046)
I also study the measurement and evaluation of negative consequences resulting from heavy drinking or problem cannabis use in college students. Along with my colleagues, I developed the Young Adult Alcohol Consequences Questionnaire (YAACQ) which assesses multiple domains of alcohol consequences. We also developed the Marijuana Consequence Questionnaire (MACQ), based on the YAACQ.