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
206B Park Hall
Buffalo NY, 14260-4110
Phone: (716) 645-0193
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 young adult alcohol use, 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.
In the area of the intersection of trauma, posttraumatic stress, and substance use, I have been funded by the ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse to examine etiological processes that contribute to the co-occurrence of PTSD and problem substance use in young adults. 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. My colleagues and I currently are conducting two studies funded by NIAAA. One of these seeks to understand women’s developmental and contextual risk for alcohol-involved sexual assault, and the other is studying how friends can help one another prevent alcohol-involved assault risk.
I also am interested in the measurement and evaluation of negative consequences resulting from heavy drinking in college students. Along with my colleagues, I have developed the Young Adult Alcohol Consequences Questionnaire (YAACQ) which assesses multiple domains of alcohol consequences. More information about this measure – including measure items, scoring instructions, and supporting references, can be found at my personally maintained website.