Current Research Projects

The following topics are being addressed in the context of several ongoing or impending research projects:

  • Evaluating brief motivational interventions for young adult alcohol and drug abuse. This research will include developing novel supplements to existing brief interventions and adapting interventions for use with several populations, including Iraq War Veterans, college students, young adults participating in job training programs, and minority populations.

  • Identifying factors associated with poor response to interventions, including biological, affective, behavioral, environmental, and genetic risk factors.

  • Identifying biological, affective, behavioral, environmental, and genetic predictors of changes in drinking and drug use during young adulthood. We are especially interested in understanding the relations between substance use and functioning in other important life domains (relationships, employment, physical health, etc.).

  • Examining the interrelations between substance use and other health behaviors and outcomes, including risky sexual behavior, diet, exercise, etc.

  • Identifying the positive effects of substance use (e.g., social facilitation, mood enhancement, etc.) as part of a functional analysis of the reasons that young adults use drugs and alcohol. This information will ultimately be used to develop improved interventions that provide effective substitutes for drug and alcohol use.

  • Examining substance abuse and psychiatric co-morbidity in young adult populations.

  • Gender differences in alcohol use and other health-risk behaviors.

  • Developing brief motivational interventions to alleviate depression and encourage adaptive behavior including exercise, academic, and career-related activities in college and other young adult populations.