Research Projects Previously Conducted at RIA
The following list includes a selection of some of the previous research conducted at RIA, now concluded or in the final stages of data analysis, going back as far as 1985. These studies demonstrate the breadth and scope of contributions by RIA scientists to the addictions’ field. The researchers can be reached through
e-mail from the Principal Investigator page of this site.
|Barnes/Farrell||Family and Adolescent Study: A six-wave longitudinal study of family influences on the development of adolescent alcohol misuse has been carried out with funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Respondents in the general population of Western New York were first interviewed in 1989 and were re-interviewed at yearly intervals though 1996. Adolescents were 13-16 years old at wave one and 18-22 years old at wave six. The sample consisted of over 600 adolescents as well as mothers, fathers, and adolescent siblings. Later waves included an adolescent peer who was independently interviewed. Over 10,000 individual interviews were carried out with target adolescents and significant others over the course of six waves of data collection. Numerous presentations and publications have been completed. Key longitudinal analyses using six waves of data show that parenting practices, particularly, support and monitoring, influence the onset of alcohol misuse and the trajectory of alcohol misuse over the course of adolescence. Funded by grants of $3,148,373 from NIAAA, 1989-97.|
|Barnes/Miller||Sports, Gender, & Adolescent Substance Use: Grace Barnes and Kathleen Miller served as co-principal investigators on this project coordinating the research efforts of a team of collaborating scientists which included Dr. Michael Farrell, professor in UB’s Department of Sociology, Dr. Don Sabo, professor at D’Youville College and Dr. Merrill Melnick, professor at SUNY College at Brockport. Extending previous research by this group, the specific aims of the study included determination of the nature of relationships between sports and other specific extracurricular activities and substance use and other risky adolescent behaviors. Analyses indicated that adolescent sports participation buffers against some health-risk behaviors, such as tobacco use, illicit drug use, and suicidality, while exacerbating other health-risk behaviors, such as problem drinking. The effects of athletic participation also differed by gender: teenage girls involved in sports reported reduced levels of sexual risk-taking, while teenage male athletes reported elevated levels. Additional findings, including gender and racial/ethnic differences in relationships between athletic participation and health risks, were published in a number of journals: International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Sociology of Sport Journal, Substance Use and Misuse, and Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Funded by a grant of $462,000 from NIDA, 2000-2004.|
of Gambling and Alcohol Use in Youth: The overall aims of this study were to determine the relationships between
gambling, alcohol misuse, other substance use, and delinquency, and to
examine the factors influencing these problem behaviors among youth. Secondary
analyses were carried out using two longitudinal data sets from previously
funded NIAAA studies. The “Family and Adolescent Study” was
a six-wave longitudinal panel study of 699 adolescents, aged 13-16 in
wave one and 18-23 in wave 6. “Drinking and Delinquency in Young
Men” was a three-wave longitudinal panel study of substance use and
delinquency among 625 males, aged 16-19 in wave one and 19-22 in wave
Results showed gambling, like alcohol use, is prevalent among youth, with annual gambling rates of 81% and 90% among males in studies one and two respectively, and a 70% prevalence rate among females in study one. Cards and games of skill — e.g., basketball, pool — were the most common forms of gambling. Alcohol misuse among males predicted increased gambling over time or a pattern of stability of high rates of gambling. Higher parental monitoring and lower alcohol misuse were significant in predicting a decreasing pattern of gambling among males in the delinquency study. Alcohol misuse predicted an increasing pattern of gambling for females only when other factors such as high impulsivity or low parental monitoring were present. This study showed that while problem behaviors are related, there are also uncorrelated antecedents predicting distinct types of youthful problem behaviors. Peer delinquency showed numerous significant pathways to youth problem behaviors for both females and males. Gambling, while correlated with other problem behaviors, showed the least commonality with alcohol misuse, drug use, and delinquency outcomes. Research funded by a grant of $308,000 from NIAAA, 2000-2003.
|Barnes||Trends in Alcohol Misuse Among Minority Adolescents: The objectives of this project were to examine the trends in alcohol misuse and other problem behaviors among ethnic minority secondary students over the decade spanning the mid 1980s to mid 1990s. Three large, comparable cross-sectional surveys of New York State school students were examined showing the patterns of alcohol use among Native American, West Indian, African American, Hispanic, and white adolescents. The findings showed that a downward trend in alcohol consumption in the 1980s stopped by mid-1990s. These trends were observed in all racial/ethnic groups. Furthermore, alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems actually increased among younger adolescents but not among older adolescents. Implications of this research are that alcohol prevention efforts should be targeted to younger adolescents since early initiation into drinking has been shown to predict the development of alcohol misuse in later adolescence and adulthood. Funded by a grant of $305,741 from NIAAA, 1997-2000.|
|Knowledge Exchange and Skills Training for Therapists
The goal of this study was to develop a training program for therapists using a combination of laptop computers, an interactive database, and distance learning in a state-of-the-science, innovative model of technology transfer and knowledge exchange. The training program offers instructional design technology, a constructivist theory-based approach to learning, and a computer-based Post-Training Support Center. A clinical trial in a series of four phases allowed for ongoing development and refinement of the training materials with 90 volunteer clinicians. This investigation will provide a better quality of learning and understanding and make empirically supported treatments available to broad audiences of community-based clinicians. Dr. Chris Barrick’s co-investigators are Drs. R. Lorraine Collins, UB School of Public Health and Health Professions, School of Public Health and Health Professions, and Nancy Smyth, UB School of Social Work. Funded by a grant of $1,585,000 from NIDA, 2005-2010.
|Relapse Among Severely Mentally Ill Alcohol Abusers
The aims of this research are to look at factors that predict who continues to drink following alcohol and mental health treatment versus those individuals who are able to maintain abstinence from alcohol. We anticipate that some of the important factors affecting these relationships will include the extent and severity of psychiatric symptoms, how long the alcohol problem has existed, how regularly dual-diagnosis treatment is attended, and the types of coping skills project participants have to deal with difficult situations involving alcohol or other drugs. This four-year study will result in a better understanding of the kinds of factors that are most likely to lead to continued problem drinking among severely mentally ill individuals and in turn, help in the design of treatment programs that better meet the needs of this population. Dr. Clara Bradizza's co-investigators are Drs. Gerard Connors and Paul Stasiewicz of RIA and Stephen Maisto, Syracuse University. Funded by a grant of $1,567,083 from NIAAA, 2002-2007.
|Bradizza||Drug Coping Skills Assessment of Dual-Diagnosis Patients: Dr. Bradizza evaluated the drug-specific coping skills of individuals dually-diagnosed with schizophrenia and a drug use disorder. Funded by a grant of $538,368 from NIDA, 1996-2002.|
|Brewer/Frone||Factors Associated with R.N. Decisions to Work: This Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) award to Principal Investigator Carol Brewer, associate professor in the UB School of Nursing was a collaborative effort with Co-investigators Christine Kovner, School of Nursing, New York University, and Michael Frone, RIA senior research scientist and associate professor in the Department of Psychology. The three-year study examined the relationships of R.N. characteristics, work setting, and labor market regions to R.N. job satisfaction and organizational commitment as well as intention to work and actual work participation. Understanding why R.N.s work, work part-time, or do not work may be useful to government and the private sector in developing reforms that may modify workforce participation and help abate the cycles of shortages which occur regularly. The researchers expanded tools that can be used to examine work behavior of the R.N. population and possibly help in the development of relevant policy. Funded by AHRQ, 2003-2005.|
|Coffey/Stasiewicz||Emotion and Craving in Alcoholics with Comorbid PTSD: Using an empirically supported behavioral treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), this project examined whether a reduction in negative emotion leads to a reduction in alcohol craving in persons with comorbid PTSD and alcohol dependence (AD). The study was a collaboration across University at Buffalo departments by the Department of Psychiatry’s Scott Coffey, principal investigator and RIA’s Paul Stasiewicz, co-investigator. Funded by NIAAA, 2001-2004.|
|Motivation in Context: Risk for Early Substance Use
In this longitudinal study, Principal Investigator Dr. Craig Colder of UB’s Department of Psychology examined how shifts in appetitive motivation converge with community and peer contexts to influence both implicit and explicit beliefs supportive of substance use. Starting from developmental-ecological theory that posits the initiation of substance use in childhood and adolescence is a function of reciprocal and interacting influences between individuals and their socio-environmental context, a sample of 10-12 year old children were assessed across three waves. This allowed for the examination of how changes in these constructs presaged substance use. Child motivational profiles based on approach, inhibition and self-regulation were assessed using laboratory tasks, physiological indicators and parent reports. Multiple methods were used to assess beliefs about substance use, and peer and community context. This research has the potential to provide important direction for how the content of substance use preventive interventions could be tailored for specific populations and to target relevant etiological processes for maximal effectiveness. His co-investigators included RIA’s Dr. Rina Eiden and Dr. Liliana Lengua of the University of Washington, Drs. Larry Hawk and Jennifer Read of UB's Department of Psychology, and Dr. William Wieczorek of Buffalo State College. Funded by NIDA to Dr. Colder, subaccount to RIA, 2006-2011.
|Collins/Bradizza||40 oz. Views: Alcohol Expectancies for Malt Liquor: This three-year study developed and tested the psychometric properties of a measure of beliefs about the effects of malt liquor. Malt liquor typically is marketed to younger, hip consumers and is sold in large volume containers (e.g. 40 oz) that cannot be resealed, thereby encouraging heavy drinking. Young adults (age 18 to 30 years) who regularly consumed malt liquor were identified by using computer-assisted telephone interviews. Some participated in focus groups designed to identify beliefs about malt liquor and the contexts in which it is consumed. Questionnaires were administered to approximately 600-800 participants. Results to be released soon.Funded by a $468,333 award from NIAAA, 2001-2005.|
|Collins||Nurses’ Substance Abuse: Stress, Coping, and Self-Efficacy: This study consisted of a survey that assessed nurses’ lifetime and current use of licit (e.g., alcohol) and illicit (e.g., cocaine) substances. Surveys were mailed to 4,000 nurses who were randomly selected from the 25,000 licensed nurses (RNs and LPNs) who resided in Western New York. Initial data was collected in 1990 and the survey was repeated one year later. Results indicated differences between RNs and LPNs. For example, more RNs reported lifetime and current use of alcohol, while more LPNs reported lifetime and current use of cigarettes. More RNs reported lifetime use of opiates and hallucinogens as compared to LPNs. There were differences in lifetime substance use based on work setting and nursing speciality. Age and marital status were related to substance use. Lifetime experiences of negative consequences were rare and few nurses reported dependence on substances other than tobacco and caffeine. Funded by a grant of $776,966 from NIDA, 1990-94.|
|Collins/Dermen||Restraint and Attributions: Risk Factors in Alcohol Abuse
This four-year grant extended Dr. R. Lorraine Collins’ previous program of research (1988-2003) on the drinking behavior of young adults (ages 21 to 30 years) as they moved from being social drinkers to developing drinking problems. The grant involved three studies. The first study examined affect, restraint, and other psychosocial variables involved in alcohol use. The second was a laboratory study in which the researchers induced moods and examined the effects on drinking. The third, an intervention study, examined whether changing individuals’ affective states influencde their drinking behavior over time. Funded by a grant of $1,569,584 from NIAAA, 2003-2008.
|Conner/Houston||Attempted Suicide and Alcohol Dependence
Using a case-control study design, this study examined the roles of reactive aggression and social isolation in suicide attempts and the level of planning preceding attempts in treated alcoholics. This study was funded by NIAAA to Dr. Kenneth Conner, principal investigator on the study and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Co-investigators in Rochester include Yeates Conwell, M. D., Paul Duberstein, PhD and Sean Meldrum, M. A. RIA Research Scientist Dr. Rebecca Houston was co-investigator on the study, managed data collection at two Buffalo sites, and supervised the Buffalo-based staff. Subaward to Dr. Houston from the University of Rochester, 2006-2011.
|Therapeutic Alliance as a Change Mechanism in Alcoholism Treatment
In this two-year investigation, alcohol-dependent patients participating in a 12-week outpatient treatment program were assessed over the course of treatment on their perceptions of the therapeutic alliance (therapist perceptions also will be assessed). The project is examining the within-treatment, week-to-week relationship between the ratings of the therapeutic alliance (as perceived by the patient and therapist) and the patient's alcohol involvement (percent days abstinent and drinks per drinking day) during treatment. The project also is examining profiles of the therapeutic alliance (as perceived by the patient and therapist) over the course of treatment in relation to alcohol involvement during treatment and during a six-month follow-up period. Results from this study will be used to characterize the interplay of the therapeutic alliance with alcohol involvement during and following an outpatient treatment episode. The data are expected to provide direction and foundation for future systematic research on the therapeutic alliance as a mechanism of change in the treatment of alcohol use disorders. Co-investigators include Kurt H. Dermen, PhD and Stephen A. Maisto of Syracuse University. Funded by a grant of $416,063 from NIAAA, 2007-2010.
|Connors/Walitzer||Secondary Prevention of Alcohol Problems in Rural Areas: This study evaluated three secondary prevention drinking reduction interventions among problem drinkers in rural areas, both men and women, living in rural areas. RIA scientists assessed changes in alcohol and drug use, alcohol-related behaviors, and psychological and interpersonal functioning as a result of the interventions. Funded by a grant of $1,369,983 from NIAAA, 1997-2003.|
|Connors/Walitzer||AA Participation, Spirituality and Alcohol Outcome: While researchers have shown greater interest in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) over the past decade, relatively little empirical attention has been placed on spirituality. In recognition of the importance of this topic, this study was conducted to address three primary objectives: (1) to assess the relationship between AA participation to spirituality (defined as sense of life purpose, serenity, and religiosity) over the course of residential treatment for alcoholism and a 6-month posttreatment follow-up period; (2) to assess the role of spirituality as a partial mediator of the demonstrated relationship between AA participation and alcohol outcome; and (3) to examine, in exploratory fashion, several variables (including forgiveness, hope, and the seeking of life purpose) as potential mediators of the proposed relationship between AA participation and spirituality. Data have been gathered, and analyses are ongoing. Funded by a grant of $308,000 from NIAAA, 2000-2003.|
|Connors||Treatment Research Validation and Extension Program: This project was designed to extend knowledge about factors associated with relapses to drinking after treatment. A specific focus was on replicating and extending the Marlatt conceptual model of relapse. Several articles describing the results of this study were published in a special supplement of the journal Addiction (1996). Investigators from RIA, Brown University, and the University of New Mexico collaborated on this multisite study. Funded by a contract of $689,660 from NIAAA, 1991-2000.|
|Enhancing Involvement in Outpatient Alcoholism Treatment: This study evaluated the effectiveness of procedures designed to prepare alcoholics for treatment. The two procedures of interest - a role induction session or a motivational interview session - were compared to a no preparation control condition. The interventions were designed to prevent early dropout and improve treatment outcome. Preliminary results indicate that receiving the motivational interview preparatory session was associated with greater rates of attendance at subsequent individual and group treatment sessions, relative to those not receiving a preparatory session. In addition, clients receiving the motivational preparatory session, relative to those not receiving a preparatory session, had fewer heavy drinking days during a 12-month follow-up period. Funded by a grant of $840,731 from NIAAA, 1994-98.|
|Connors/Walitzer||Secondary Prevention of Alcohol Problems in Women: In this project, women heavy drinkers without histories of severe physical dependence on alcohol participated in a group-based intervention focusing on reducing alcohol consumption. Some participants were exposed to intervention enhancements: life-skills training and/or post-intervention booster sessions. Participants were monitored for an 18-month period following the intervention. In terms of alcohol use, women responded positively to treatment. Participants showed significant reductions in drinking throughout the 18 months after treatment. The treatment enhancements (life management skills and booster sessions) led to significantly improved drinking outcomes among women who were heavier drinkers at pretreatment. There were no significant effects of the treatment enhancements among women who were lighter drinkers at pretreatment. In addition, participants reported significant decreases in drinking consequences and improvements in several domains of life functioning. Funded by a grant of $917,074 from NIAAA, 1990-95.|
|Project MATCH - Buffalo Clinical Research Unit: Project MATCH was a multisite study of how patients respond to different treatment approaches for alcohol use disorders. Outpatient and aftercare clients participated in one of three 12-week treatments: a 12-session Twelve-Step Facilitation Therapy (TSF), a 12-session Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), or a Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), consisting of 4 sessions spread over 12 weeks. Below are some of the broadest conclusions reached by the Project MATCH Research Group, based on analyses completed to date. The overall outcomes of patients receiving all three of the treatments studied in Project MATCH were quite favorable. Matching (or mismatching) of patients to treatments on the basis of their personal characteristics contributed surprisingly little to the overall effectiveness of treatment. The strongest effects observed for the 12-months posttreatment were for psychiatric severity and anger among outpatients and for severity of dependence among aftercare patients. Although MET was less successful among outpatients during the treatment phase, there were only a few outcome differences after treatment between the 4-session MET and the two 12-session treatments. New analyses and publications have appeared or are in progress. Funded by a grant of $2,410,415 from NIAAA, 1989-1999.|
|Dearing||Help-Seeking for Alcohol Problems: A Prospective Study
This Mentored Research Scientist Development Award from NIAAA provided five years of support to Dr. Ronda Dearing for mentored training, advanced coursework, and data collection in the field of help-seeking and treatment for alcohol problems. In the context of the proposed study, individuals with a range of alcohol problem severity were recruited and their help-seeking behavior tracked over a two-year period. The primary aim of the study was to assess whether attitudes about alcohol and alcohol treatment predict help-seeking for alcohol problems. Other potential predictors of help-seeking behavior investigated included: problem severity, pressures to enter treatment, shame-proneness, and guilt-proneness. Dr. Dearing’s mentors for this program of study included Dr. Gerard Connors and Dr. Kimberly Walitzer of RIA. Funded by a grant of $585,095 from NIAAA, 2005-2011.
|Dermen/Testa||Changes in Women’s HIV Risk Following Alcohol Treatment
Women in treatment for alcohol problems are at heightened risk for infection with HIV. Alcohol use may contribute directly or indirectly to risk in this population. The goals of this research project were to evaluate cross-sectionally, before and after treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence, the acute and global relationships of alcohol use and other factors to HIV risk-related behavior; to evaluate prospectively hypotheses regarding the extent to which baseline characteristics are predictive of change in HIV risk behavior during the year after entry into alcoholism treatment; and to evaluate prospectively, the extent to which women’s participation in treatment, exposure to HIV risk-reduction education and counseling, and changes in alcohol use mediate change. The protocol tested an Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills model of HIV preventive behavior in an ethnically diverse sample of women entering either outpatient (n=300) or inpatient (n=150) treatment. Funded by a grant of $2,412,860 from NIAAA, 2005-2011.
|Brief Motivational Intervention to Promote Oral Health
Oral disease is highly prevalent among individuals undergoing inpatient treatment for alcohol dependence. This project consisted of two phases of research with this population. During phase one, a brief Motivational Oral and Dental Health Promotion intervention was developed with the goal of improving personal oral hygiene and utilization of community-based oral health preventive and treatment services. During phase two, a randomized pilot trial of the motivational intervention was conducted. The study was a collaboration between Drs. Kurt Dermen and Gerard Connors, RIA, and Dr. Sebastian Ciancio, UB School of Dental Medicine. Funded by a grant of $597,965 from NIDCR, 2005-2009.
|Dermen||Enhancing HIV Prevention Through Drinking Reduction: Dr. Dermen evaluated the impact of two-session motivational interventions that focused on drinking reduction, HIV risk reduction, and their combination among male and female college students. The relationship between drinking and condom use also was assessed. Analyses of baseline data revealed that alcohol use prior to an occurrence of sexual intercourse was correlated with a greater likelihood of condom use during that occurrence. This was true even when analyses controlled for each student's expectations about the effects of alcohol and the length of the student's relationship with his or her intercourse partner. Analyses of one-year post-intervention follow-up data indicated that the alcohol-focused brief interventions reduced alcohol use but had no impact on sexual risk behavior. The HIV-focused interventions reduced the number of sexual partners reported by students. Frequency of sex without using a condom diminished in all conditions, including a control condition in which no intervention was delivered. Thus, although the brief alcohol-focused motivational intervention appeared to be useful for reducing drinking among college students, reducing college students' alcohol use did not appear to be an effective method of increasing HIV-preventive behavior such as condom use. Funded by a grant of $1,442,033 from NIAAA, 1998-2003.|
|Dermen||Adolescent Alcohol Use and High Risk Sexual Behavior: This study was a third wave of data collection from participants originally interviewed at the University at Buffalo 13 years previous. More than 1,400 African- and European-American young adults were re-interviewed in order to further understanding of the relationship between alcohol use and sexual behavior that increases risk for infection with AIDS and other diseases. M. Lynne Cooper at the University of Missouri was principal investigator of the NIAAA -funded project at all three waves; Kurt Dermen was principal investigator on the subcontract for the data collection effort. Funded by a subcontract of $1,070,386, from the University of Missouri - Columbia, 1999-2004.|
|Eiden||Pre- and Postnatal Cigarette Exposure and Infant Regulation: This study investigated the impact of pre-and postnatal exposure to cigarettes and associated risk factors on infant regulation. Researchers examined the possibility that early exposure to cigarettes may impact regulation beyond the neonatal period through direct teratological impact, environmental cigarette smoke (ETS), and maternal cigarette use on growth outcomes that may in turn influence infant reactivity and regulation. Average Heart Rate (HR) and Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA) were assessed at 2-4 weeks of age during sleep. Prenatal cigarette exposure and ETS were both related to HR and RSA and fetal growth did not mediate these associations. However, boys in both exposure groups had higher autonomic arousal than girls (Schuetze & Eiden, in press). Results also indicated that mothers who smoked during pregnancy had higher levels of Maternal Insensitivity (MI) and lower levels of Maternal Warmth (MW) during interactions with their infant even after controlling for demographics and pregnancy alcohol use. Maternal anxiety and hostility mediated the association between smoking and MI and maternal anger mediated the association between smoking and MW. In addition, there was an interaction between infant gender and maternal smoking for MW with pregnancy smokers displaying less warmth to boys during interactions (Schuetze, Eiden, & Dombkowski, in review). Data from assessments at 7 months of infant age are currently being analyzed. This study was a collaborative effort between Principal Investigator Pamela Schuetze, SUNY College at Buffalo, and Co-Investigator Rina Das Eiden, of RIA. Funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2002-2004.|
|Eiden||Maternal Substance Use, Parenting, Infant Development: Dr. Rina Eiden first completed a cross sectional study that resulted in two papers. The first provided descriptive data about the caregiving environment of substance exposed children (Eiden, Peterson, & Coleman, 1999). The second suggested that exposure to violence is one of the most significant predictors of child behavior problems among these children (Eiden, 1999). Next, a short-term longitudinal study was completed. Mother-infant dyads were recruited at birth and followed for the first year of the infant's life, with assessments at 2, 7, and 13 months. This study resulted in three publications. The first focused on the quality of mother-infant feeding interactions at 2 months and demonstrated that cocaine using mothers were more negative in their interactive style during feeding interactions with their infants. Other risk factors such as a more negative infant temperament, lower gestational age, and maternal use of other substances also contributed to more negative parenting behavior (Eiden, 2001). The second paper examined the association between prenatal substance exposure and infant behavior suggesting that maternal cocaine and other substance use (alcohol and cigarettes) was associated with problems in arousal regulation at 2 and 7 months of age (Eiden, Lewis, Croff, & Young, 2002). The third paper examined the association between maternal substance use and perception of infant cry sounds varying in pitch. Results indicated that substance-using mothers rated cries as less perceptually salient and less likely to elicit active caregiving responses. These results suggest that maternal substance use is associated with altered perceptions of infant distress signals (Schuetze, Zeskind, & Eiden, 2003). The fourth paper examined the development of motor assymetries among cocaine exposed infants. (Schuetze, Croff, & Eiden, 2003). Funded by a grant of $428,466 from the NIDA, 1995-2001.|
|Frone||Workplace Substance Use: A National Prevalence Study : The use of alcohol and other drugs by employed adults represents an important social policy issue because it can undermine employee health and productivity. Although national data exist regarding the overall level of alcohol and drug use among employed adults in the U.S., much less is known about the prevalence of alcohol and drug use on the job and the physical and social availability of alcohol and drugs at work. This study addressed several key issues. First, the prevalence and distribution of workplace substance use and workplace availability was explored. Second, a model of the relating overall and workplace substance availability to overall and workplace substance use was tested. Third, a “correspondence model” of employee substance use and productivity was tested. Finally, the relationship of exposure to coworkers' on-the-job substance use to the performance and morale of individuals who did not use alcohol or drugs at work was examined. The study methodology included a national telephone survey of a representative sample of 3,500 employed adults. Funded by a grant of $1,399,892 from NIAAA. 2000-2004.|
|Frone||Work, Alcohol, and School Performance Among Adolescents: Dr. Michael Frone examined the relations among employment, alcohol/other drug use, and academic achievement during adolescence. He also investigated risk and protective factors that may influence these relationships. Funded by a grant of $564,447 from NIAAA, 1994-2000.|
|Grohman||Neurocognitive Rehabilitation in Alcohol Treatment
This Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Scientist Career Development Award from NIAAA supported a five-year plan to develop Dr. Kerry Grohman’s skills and expertise in addiction research through mentored training, secondary data analyses, and execution of an innovative investigation designed to unite three currently divergent areas in addiction research: treatment, neuropsychological functioning, and neuroimaging. The project included two stages: (1) Secondary analysis of an existing data set to examine posttreatment functioning, following neurocognitive rehabilitation, in a substance-abusing population. (2) Original data collection to provide the first extensive examination of the effect of neurocognitive rehabilitation on treatment and posttreatment functioning in alcohol dependent participants. Dr. Grohman’s mentors in this endeavor included Dr. Gerard Connors, RIA and Dr. Robert Zivadinov of UB’s Department of Neurology in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Funded by a grant of $601,960 from NIAAA, 2004-2009.
|Haj-Dahmane||Dopamine Mechanisms and Receptors in Raphe 5-HT Neurons: Dr. Samir Haj-Dahmane used electrophysiological, pharmacological, and immunohistochemical techniques to characterize the cellular mechanism by which D2-like dopamine receptor activation increased the excitability of dorsal Raphe nucleus serotonergic (5-HT) neurons. The results of this research will further our understanding of the functional interaction between the dopamine and serotonergic systems in the dorsal Raphe nucleus, and thus contribute to the identification of novel and effective treatment strategies for psychiatric disorders such as major depression. Funded by a grant of $781,209 from NIMH, 2001-2005.|
|Haj-Dahmane||Muscarinic Receptors in the Cerebral Cortex and Schizophrenia: Dr. Samir Haj-Dahmane investigated the neurophysiological effects of acetylcholine (an endogenous neurotransmitter) in the cerebral cortex. The results of this study may better our understanding of the cholinergic function in the cerebral cortex and further advance the treatment of mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Funded by a grant of $60,000 from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), 1998-2001.|
|Inhibitory Control and Clinical Response in ADHD
Dr. Larry Hawk of the UB Department of Psychology investigated the effects of both methylphenidate (MPH) and performance-based motivational incentives (i.e., monetary rewards, an analogue of behavioral treatment) on laboratory measures of inhibitory control, working memory, sustained attention, and delay-related impulsivity in children with ADHD. This research was the first to test the extent to which MPH affects basic processes assessed in the lab, and whether these processes actually mediate, or account for, individual differences in clinical response to MPH. The researchers have helped to bridge basic and clinical research in ADHD in this work and paved the way for new translational research and theory in ADHD. Dr. William Pelham of UB’s Department of Psychology was co-principal investigator. Co-investigators included Drs. Jerry Richards, RIA, James Waxmonsky, UB Department of Psychiatry, and Gregory Wilding, UB Department of Biostatistics. Funded by NIMH to Dr. Hawk, 2005-2010.
|Homish/Barrick||Linking Advanced Practice Centers and Local Health Departments
The goal of this project was to assist in disseminating information to rural first responders. To do this, a web-based “wiki” board was prepared and demonstrated to allow for rapid editing and enhancing of content to the first responders. Principal Investigator Gregory Homish, PhD, UB’s Department of Health Behavior and Chris Barrick, PhD, RIA, collaborated on the project. Funded by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and in conjunction with the Western New York Public Health Alliance, the Linking Advanced Practice Centers & Local Health Departments to Gregory Homish, PhD, 2008-2009.
|Impulse Control as a Mechanism of Change in the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence
This project used a multi-modal measurement approach to the assessment of impulse control before, during, and after a cognitive behavioral treatment for alcohol dependence. Since it is likely that the decision to initiate drinking is indicative of a momentary lapse in impulse control for individuals with an alcohol disorder, this study 1) investigated whether changes in impulse control during treatment are related to alcohol use during treatment, as compared to pre-treatment and 2) whether changes in impulse control during treatment result in changes in post-treatment alcohol use, as compared to pre-treatment. A two-group design consisting of a Standard Assessment Group and a Frequent Assessment Group was used with men and women who met DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence to examine the multi-dimensional nature of the impulsivity construct. Results yet to be published will better define the role of impulse control as a potential mechanism of behavioral change and inform the development of subsequent avenues of investigation on this mechanism in the treatment of alcohol use disorders. Results will also provide information about refining existing treatments as well as developing new treatment methods. Dr. Houston’s co-investigators are Drs. Ronda L. Dearing and Gerard J. Connors of RIA, and Dr. Gregory G. Homish of UB’s Department of Health Behavior. Funded by a grant of $416,063 from NIAAA, 2007-2010.
|Kristal/Thompson||CNS Opioids and Maternal Behavior
Dr. Mark Kristal, of UB’s Department of Psychology, investigated opioid activation at the end of pregnancy and during delivery and its complex effect on maternal behavior. He and Dr. Alexis Thompson, RIA, focused their work on the development of a comprehensive model of the biobehavioral/neurochemical basis of maternal behavior, including the role of opioids in areas of the brain that mediate motivational processes delivery. Initial results strongly support the hypothesis that at delivery, endogenous opioids in the mesolimbic cortical pathway of the brain facilitate the inititation of maternal behavior. In addition, peri-parturitional behaviors, including placentophagia in animals, facilitate activation of opioid neurotransmission in this part of the brain. Funded by NSF to Dr. Kristal, UB Department of Psychology, subaccount to Dr. Thompson, RIA, 2005-2008.
|Leonard||Alcohol and Early Marriage: Spouse and Peer Influence
This extended Dr. Kenneth Leonard’s previous examination of drinking patterns and alcohol-related problems in young couples beginning with the time of application for a first marriage license, and including celebration of their seventh and ninth anniversaries. The study included the impact of parenthood, major life events, and environmental stressors on couples’ drinking and drinking problems. Funded by an award of $1,525,391 from NIAAA, 2005-2010.
|Alcohol and Bar Violence: This project examined the prevalence and predictors of alcohol-related violence among young adults between the ages of 18-30. Results found that of the 1,400 college students and other young adults who participated in the study, one in three men and one in five women had been the target of physical aggression — ranging from shoving to assault with a weapon. Asked whether in the last year they had been the target of, or had initiated, violence, 44 percent of men in the community, 33 percent of college men, 28 percent of women in the community, and 22 percent of college women said yes. Pushing and shoving were the most common forms of aggression experienced, although 15 percent of the men surveyed said a weapon was used against them. Of the women who identified themselves as targets of physical aggression, 22 percent of the women said the incidents occurred in or outside bars, while 34 percent said the incidents occurred in their own home. In addition, the project reported evidence that drinking on the part of the subject did not predict whether or not an aggressive episode occurred, but it did predict the severity and likelihood of injury. Funded by a grant of $918,856 from NIAAA, 1997-2002.|
|Leonard||Experimental Study of Alcohol and Marital Aggression: This study examined the marital interactions of 60 maritally aggressive and 75 nonaggressive men and their wives under a baseline condition, and then after the husband had received no alcohol, placebo, or alcohol. These sessions were videotaped and coded with the Marital Interaction Coding System by coders blind to group status and specific condition. Aggressive couples engaged in more negative behavior and more negative reciprocity in the baseline interaction than did nonaggressive couples. The administration of alcohol led husbands, but not wives, to increase their problem solving attempts. Alcohol, but not the placebo, led to increased negativity of both husbands and wives. Funded by a grant of $441,251 from NIAAA, 1990-94.|
|Leonard||Frequent Heavy Drinking & Marital Violence in Newlyweds: The primary focus of the project was the examination of the impact of heavy drinking on marital violence within a social learning model of alcohol and aggression. Methodologically, it involved assessing newlyweds with respect to drinking patterns, alcohol expectancies, personality characteristics, and relationship characteristics just prior to marriage and relating these variables to reports of physical aggression at a one-year follow-up and subsequently, at a three-year follow-up. The grant had three specific aims: (1) to provide epidemiologic information concerning the incidence, distribution, and characteristics of alcohol-related marital violence within a high-risk population; (2) to evaluate hypotheses arising from a social learning model of alcohol and aggression; and (3) to create a non-clinical pool of potential subjects for longitudinal and experimental studies of alcohol and family violence. This project has advanced our understanding of alcohol and marital violence among newlyweds in a number of important ways. Funded by a grant of $761,740 from NIAAA, 1988-96.|
|Skill Training for Parents of Adolescent Drug Abusers: The investigators continued their research on skills parents use to deal with problem situations resulting from their adolescent's use of drugs and alcohol. The study evaluated the relative efficacy of skill training and 12 step facilitation interventions for parents of adolescent substance abusers not in treatment. Funded by a grant of $2,523,437 from NIDA, 1995-2003.|
|Miller/Barnes||College Sports, Gender, and Substance Use
This study had two phases: first, an examination of longitudinal relationships between high school sports participation and substance use and other health-risk behaviors in college-age young adults; and second, the development of comprehensive measures of athletic involvement to be used to examine linkages among high school and college sports, gender, and substance use in college students. This study extended previous research by a collaborative working group comprised of Drs. Miller and Barnes, RIA, Michael Farrell, UB Department of Sociology, Merrill Melnick, SUNY College at Brockport, and Don Sabo, D’Youville College. Funded by a grant of $471,000 from NIDA, 2004-2008.
|Nochajski/Stasiewicz||A Harm Reduction Approach to Reducing DWI Recidivism: This study investigated the use of brief harm reduction approaches with convicted DWI offenders. Researchers assessed the relative utility of increasing client motivation for change and reducing future harm related to alcohol and/or drug use, including DWI recidivism. Early results suggest caution for treatment providers when interpreting stage of change for DUI offenders as assessment of individuals’ stage of change differed between stage of change measures. Motivation to change was not significantly associated with drinking-driving and, as individuals developed more self-efficacy, they reported less drinking-driving. Readiness to change and self-efficacy were significantly associated with binge drinking and as a person’s belief in their ability to refuse drinks increased, binge drinking frequency decreased. Finally, significant predictors of drinking-driving included alcohol dependence severity, were low self-efficacy, number of drinking-related negative consequences including a prior DUI arrest, of drinking, and other drug use. Harm reduction efforts might consider these predictors.The 18-month follow-up interviews have recently been completed and the main outcome results are pending. Funded by a grant of $2,561,901 from NIAAA, 1999-2005.|
|Nochajski/Miller||Indicators of Drinking/Drug Problems and Repeat Offender Status: This three-year grant was funded for the purpose of developing a screening instrument that was to be used in the New York State Drinking Driver Programs. Funded by a grant of $305,353 from the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), 1991-94.|
|Nochajski/Testa||HCV Transmission: Sex, Violence, Alcohol, and Drug Use: In this study, RIA handled the collection and maintenance of data supplied by the Erie County Health Department about clients' alcohol/drug use, sexual practices, and sexually transmitted diseases. Marcia Russell, of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and formerly of RIA, was principal investigator on the award. Drs. Tom Nochajski and Maria Testa supervised the subcontract for data collection and maintenance. The project was funded by $297,327 from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, 2000-2004.|
|Nochajski||Reducing DWI Recidivism: This project monitored the Drinking Driver Program screening and referral process including assessing the utility of the screening instrument, development of potential subscales for identification of recidivists, identification of individuals who had problems with substances other than alcohol, and development of subscales in other areas that might have implications for intervention strategies. Funded by a grant of $329,475 from GTSC, 1994-97.|
|Nochajski||Validation of the RIA Self Inventory for Screening of Drunken/Drugged Drivers: This study focused on validating the RIA Self Inventory (RIASI), with a specific focus on development of the subscales for drinking/drugged-driving recidivism and for problems with drugs other than alcohol. In addition, the grant targeted further assessment of empirically derived subscales that related to current drinking practices, alcohol beliefs, deviance, sensation seeking-impulsivity, and psychiatric distress. Funded by a grant of $48,549 from GTSC, 1997-98.|
|Women Bar Drinkers: Exploring Risks for HIV
This study added to knowledge about the role of alcohol in increased risk for heterosexual HIV transmission among women. Dr. Kathleen Parks and colleagues assessed the relationships among alcohol use, social context, and risky sexual behavior on women bar drinkers risks for HIV. Both unprotected sexual behaviors and sexual assault were viewed as risky sexual behaviors for HIV. The sample consisted of 287 women between the ages of 18 and 30 years of age who were sexually active and reported drinking in bars at least weekly. Dr. Parks’ colleagues include Dr. R. Lorraine Collins, UB School of Public Health and Health Professions, and Dr. Amy Buddie, Department of Psychology, Kennesaw State University, Georgia. Funded by a grant of $1,256,000 from NIAAA, 2003-2008.
|Parks||College Women: The Alcohol and Victimization Link
This five-year longitudinal project utilized a web-based survey, as well as state-of-the-science daily data collection methods, to examine the relationship between alcohol consumption and victimization experiences (verbal, physical, sexual) among a cohort of college women. Nearly 1,000 women who entered college during the fall of 2004 participated in a brief, web-based survey each fall for five years. Findings indicated that rates of sexual victimization were highest in the first year of college and decreased over the remaining years at school. In addition, women who drank prior to entering college were at greater risk of physical and sexual victimization during their first year in college than women who did not drink prior to entering college. Nearly 200 women from the larger sample provided daily data over an eight-week period each spring for four years beginning during the spring of 2005. Based on these data, we found that women were substantially more likely to experience verbal, physical and sexual victimization on days of heavy drinking (four or more drinks) compared to days of no drinking. Women were not at increased risk of victimization on days of non-heavy drinking (less than four drinks) compared to days of no drinking. These findings suggest that college is a time when young women are vulnerable to victimization, particularly when consuming alcohol at rates equivalent or higher than four standard drinks on one drinking occasion. This project was funded by a grant of $1,844,750, from NIAAA, 2004-2010.
|Parks||Women’s Alcohol Use, Drinking Context, and Victimization: As part of three studies of women bar drinkers, Dr. Kathleen Parks assessed the relationships among women’s alcohol use, drinking context, and risk for victimization. Findings from the first study, a survey of 198 women bar drinkers, suggest that women experience a significant amount of verbal, physical, and sexual victimization associated with the bar setting. Nearly half of the women (46.8%) had experienced moderate physical or sexual assault (e.g., being pushed or grabbed, unwanted sexual touching) and 34.4% had experienced severe physical or sexual assault (e.g., being beaten, raped) during the year before the survey. Women with a history of victimization (during childhood or adolescence), greater depression and hostility, and greater frequency of going to bars were at risk for experiencing more severe bar-related aggression (Parks & Zetes-Zanatta, 1999). The second study involved a 12-week assessment of the relationships among alcohol use, drinking context, and victimization in 46 women from the first study. Results showed that when aggression occurred, women spent less time in the bar, consumed more alcohol and reported feeling more intoxicated (Parks, 2000). These two studies suggest that both the bar environment and women’s alcohol use in bars can increase their risk for bar-related victimization. The third study assessed women’s perceptions of an interaction with a male stranger in a laboratory bar setting after consumption of either one or four drinks. Women who consumed four drinks were more variable in their behavior toward the male stranger than women who consumed one drink. These women were more animated (e.g., greater arm/hand movements, more smiling and frowning) during these interactions, but less receptive to sexual interest from the man (Abbey et al., 2002). This research was funded by a grant of $504,540 from NIAAA, 1997-2003.|
|Parks||Victimization Experience of Women Who Drink in Bars: The focus of this research was on assessing the relationships among alcohol use, drinking context, and women’s risk for victimization. The research involved two studies of women bar drinkers: a survey of 200 women, and a 12-week study of a sub-sample of 50 women from the original 200. Funded by a grant of $85,300 from Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation, 1996-98.|
Alcohol and the Activation of Aggressive Thoughts |
This Scientist Development Award will provide Dr. Brian Quigley with the opportunity to engage in career development activities that advance his knowledge of social cognition and alcohol research. The research will examine the structure of alcohol expectancies regarding aggression and how those expectancies, when combined with intoxication, can influence the activation of aggressive cognitions. The first phase of this study is designed to examine if alcohol expectancies relating to aggression can be conceptualized as cognitive-associative memory networks and to assess the validity of three laboratory procedures for examining this question. The second phase will use procedures validated in the first study to examine the impact of intoxication and alcohol expectancies on the activation of aggressive cognitions. Dr. Quigley’s mentor on this project is Dr. Kenneth Leonard, RIA. Funded by a grant of $387,700 from NIAAA, 2003-2007.
|Richards/de Wit||Drug Abuse and Impulsivity: Tests of Animal Models
These studies were designed to advance the understanding of impulsive behavior and its relation to drug abuse by developing valid animal models of impulsive behavior and operationalizing different concepts of impulsivity. In addition, the research examined how both acute and chronic exposure to methamphetamine (METH) affects impulsive behavior and the roles the neurotransmitter systems dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5HT) in impulsive behavior. Relationships between measures of discounting, delayed reward, risk taking, and the ability to stop drug use were assessed. This project was conducted in parallel to a separate project using humans at the University of Chicago. Together these studies will advance the understanding of the behavioral and neural processes mediating impulsive behaviors, and of the effect of drugs of abuse on these behaviors. Dr. Harriet de Wit, University of Chicago’s Department of Psychiatry, is the co-investigator. This project was transferred from UB’s Department of Pediatrics in June, 2004. Funded by a grant of $793,537 from NIDA.
|Rychtarik/Connors/ McGillicuddy/Whitney||Treatment Settings for Alcoholics: A Field Extension
The research team matched and mismatched clients to inpatient vs. outpatient alcoholism treatment in a community field setting based on their drinking problem severity and cognitive functioning measures. Treatment consisted of 21 days of primary (inpatient or outpatient) care and 6 months of outpatient aftercare. Participants subsequently were followed for 18 months postprimary care. The results will contribute to the existing knowledge-base on efficient and effective client placement criteria. Robert Whitney, MD, of the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), Division of Chemical Dependency Unit collaborated with RIA scientists. Funded by a grant of $2,364,815 from NIAAA, 2002-2008.
|Coping in Those with Pathological-Gambling Partners: This treatment development project extended the investigators’ prior work on coping in women with alcoholic partners to coping in individuals with a pathological-gambling partner. The project developed and piloted the content of a skill training program designed to assist individuals experiencing psychological stress resulting from problems brought on by their partner's gambling as a first-step in the development of a systematic program of research on coping in families of pathological gamblers. Funded by a grant of $665,476 from NIMH, 1999-2003.|
|Rychtarik||Skill Training for Women with Alcoholic Partners: Dr. Robert Rychtarik’s study evaluated the relative efficacy of skill training and twelve-step facilitation treatments for women whose alcoholic partner was not in treatment. Funded by a grant of $1,782,100 from NIAAA, 1990-1998.|
|Rychtarik||Treatment Setting and Aftercare Duration for Alcoholics: This study evaluated the relative efficacy of inpatient, intense outpatient, and standard outpatient treatment for alcoholics and tested two a priori hypotheses about matching clients to treatment settings. Funded by a grant of $787,919 from NIAAA, 1988-96.|
|Schuetze/Eiden||Pre- and Postnatal Cigarette Exposure and Infant Regulation: This study investigated the impact of pre-and postnatal exposure to cigarettes and associated risk factors on infant regulation. Regulation during infancy is defined by the ability to modulate autonomic processes by maintaining physiological homeostasis as well as the ability to modulate responsiveness to both nonsocial and social stimuli. Researchers examined the possibility that early exposure to cigarettes may impact regulation beyond the neonatal period through direct teratological impact, environmental cigarette smoke, and maternal cigarette use on growth outcomes that may in turn influence infant reactivity and regulation. Results will be posted at a later date detailing what was learned about the potential for prevention programs to ameliorate regulatory disturbances among children exposed to cigarettes . This study was a collaborative effort between Principal Investigator Pamela Schuetze, SUNY College at Buffalo, and Co-Investigator Rina Das Eiden, of RIA. Funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2002-2004.|
|Shen||Dopamine Function After Prenatal Ethanol Exposure
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a prominent behavioral symptom in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Attention problems have been linked to a dysfunction of the mesolimbic/cortical dopamine (DA) systems. Previous research from Dr. Shen’s laboratory showed that prenatal ethanol exposure in rats leads to a persistent reduction in the number of spontaneously active DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the origin of the mesolimbic/cortical DA systems. Therefore, the reduced DA neuron activity may contribute to the dysfunction of the mesolimbic/cortical DA systems and attention problems in individuals with FASD. The reduced number of spontaneously active VTA DA neurons caused by prenatal ethanol exposure is not due to a neuronal loss and can be reversed by acute administration of inhibitory agents such as DA agonists and psychostimulants (e.g. amphetamine, methylphenidate), or by increasing inhibitory input. This led to the hypothesis that prenatal ethanol exposure leads to the reduction in the number of spontaneously active VTA DA neurons by the mechanism of depolarization inactivation Ð cessation of action potentials due to over-excitation. This model predicted qualitative changes in the responses of VTA DA neuron to input signals and terminal DA release and an overall dysregulation of the mesolimbic/cortical systems. In this study, Dr. Shen identified key cellular mechanisms that could mediate the over-excitation in VTA DA neurons. The results should provide better understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying attention problems in individuals with FASD and allow for the development of effective phamacological treatment for attention problems. In addition, it sheds light on potential neural mechanism or the treatment of other mental illnesses, as reduced number of spontaneously active VTA DA neurons by depolarization inactivation is also observed after chronic exposure to drugs of abuse and prenatal stress exposure. Funded by a grant of $641,926 from NIAAA, 2007-2011.
|Shen||Dopamine Function After Prenatal Ethanol Exposure: Abnormal dopamine neurotransmission is suggested to cause the attention and hyperactivity problems often observed in children with fetal alcohol effect/fetal alcohol syndrome (FAE/FAS). This study investigated how prenatal ethanol exposure influences the postnatal development of dopamine neurotransmission, how dopamine neurotransmission can be normalized by amphetamine-like stimulants, and more about the cellular mechanisms leading to these changes. The results of this study may lead to the development of more appropriate pharmacologic treatments for specific behavioral problems of FAE/FAS. Funded by a grant of $1,162,538 from NIAAA, 1999-2005.|
|Shen||Chronic Ethanol, Dopamine Electrophysiology and Craving: Dr. Roh-Yu Shen investigated the neurological basis of craving with electrophysiological method. The results obtained further characterize the brain mechanims of craving utlizing electrophysiological, neurochemical, and behavioral techniques. Funded by a grant of $199,362 from NIAAA, 1997-2001.|
|Affect Regulation Training for Alcoholics
In this study, Dr. Paul Stasiewicz and colleagues developed and piloted a clinical intervention that addresses the problem of negative affect as it relates to alcohol use and alcohol relapse. Currently, negative affect is a component of nearly half of all relapses to alcohol use among men and women in treatment, however no well-developed, empirically-tested, efficacious treatments specifically address the impact of negative affect on relapse. This project will assist individuals in treatment to regulate and cope with negative affective episodes that threaten relapse to alcohol use. Phase one will develop a 12-session treatment manual for Affect Regulation Training (ART) delivered concurrently with a standard 12-session Treatment as Usual (TAU). Phase two will encompass a pilot study of outcomes for individuals participating in ART and TAU compared to individuals who receive TAU and a Health and Lifestyle Supplement (HLS). The long-term objective of this line of research is to make a brief, effective affect regulation intervention available to clinicians to enhance treatments for alcohol dependence. Dr. Stasiewicz’s colleagues on the project included Drs. Clara Bradizza, RIA, Scott Coffey, University of Mississippi’s Department of Psychiatry, and Suzy Bird Gulliver, Boston University’s Department of Psychiatry. Funded by a grant of $1,937,729 from NIAAA, 2005-2011.
|Stasiewicz/Bradizza||Emotional Processing as a Change Mechanism in Alcohol Treatment
In this study, Dr. Stasiewicz examined whether a reduction of negative emotional responses to drinking trigger situations, via prolonged imaginal exposure, would produce a concomitant reduction in alcohol craving produced by those same cues. Secondly, he examined whether a reduction in negative emotional responses and negative affect-elicited alcohol craving was associated with positive treatment outcomes among alcohol dependent men and women. Alcohol dependent men and women received six sessions of prolonged imaginal exposure to negative affect drinking situations delivered concurrent with a standard 12-session Treatment as Usual (TAU) for alcohol dependence. The prolonged exposure intervention incorporated two laboratory sessions (pre- and post-treatment) intended to assess change in cue-elicited negative emotions and alcohol craving. Co-investigator on the study is Clara M. Bradizza, PhD. Funded by a grant of $416,063 from NIAAA, 2007-2010.
|Stasiewicz||Contextual Control of Craving for Alcohol: Context has long been known to play a vital role in modulating acquired behavior. This project represented a test of the effect of context on alcohol craving and alcohol cue reactivity in treatment-seeking alcoholics. This research has implications for the development of alternative methods of conducting behavioral cue exposure treatments with the potential to enhance the generalization of treatment effects in the alcoholic's natural environment. Funded by a grant of $687,095 from NIAAA, 1999-2004.|
Alcohol-related STD/HIV and Assault
Alcohol use is implicated in many incidents of indiscriminate sex and sexual assault. In this study, Dr. Maria Testa investigated whether reducing alcohol use among young women, through a parent-based intervention, might be an effective means of preventing STD/HIV infection and sexual assault. This randomized clinical trial examined the effectiveness of a parent-based intervention designed to reduce binge drinking and negative sexual outcomes among women entering college. Funded by an award of $1,962,500 from NIAAA, 2003-2009.
|Testa/Livingston||Alcohol and Women’s Responses to Sexual Aggression: This study examined the impact of alcohol on women’s ability to recognize and respond to risk of sexual aggression. One of the preliminary results was that alcohol consumption impairs women’s ability to recognize subtle sexual aggression cues and subsequently lowers intentions to engage in resistance strategies. Funded by a grant of $351,876 from NIAAA, 2002-2006.|
|Testa||Preventing HIV and Sexual Assault: The Role of Alcohol: This Independent Scientist Award funded Dr. Maria Testa’s development as a researcher while investigating the prevention of sexual victimization and sexual risk-taking behavior among women, with a focus on the role of alcohol. Results of her work during this period have the potential to contribute to the development of effective prevention programs for women. Funded by a grant of $357,728 from NIAAA, 1999-2005.|
|Testa||Alcohol, HIV Risk Behaviors, and Sexual Victimization: This project involved longitudinal examination of the interrelationships among alcohol use, HIV sexual risk behaviors, and sexual victimization. The sample consisted of 1014 women, 18-30 years old, selected through random digit dialing of households in the Buffalo metropolitan area. Funded by a grant of $1,585,322 from NIAAA and the NIH Director's Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), 1999-2005.|
|Testa||Alcohol and Sexual Risk Taking Among Women: This Scientist Development Award supported Dr. Maria Testa’s investigation of the relationship between alcohol use, personality factors, and unsafe sexual behaviors. Funded by a grant of $509,823 from NIAAA, 1994-2000.|
|Testa||Health Beliefs and Alcohol Use in Pregnant Women: This project examined the association between women’s health beliefs regarding the dangers of alcohol during pregnancy and their actual consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. The role of social networks and perceived social support for drinking during pregnancy also were examined. Funded by a grant of $99,996 from NIAAA, 1992-95.|
|Facilitating Involvement in AA During Alcoholism Outpatient Treatment: In this five year project, Dr. Kimberly Walitzer assessed the effectiveness of two strategies designed to facilitate involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous during a 12-session outpatient alcoholism treatment program. The “motivational” strategy focused on enhancement of clients’ motivation towards AA participation. The “directive-confrontive” strategy included AA education, instruction, and attendance contracts. Funded by a grant of $1,442,378 from NIAAA, 1999-2004.|
|Dissemination of a MI-based Preparatory Procedure
This study investigated the dissemination and “real world” effectiveness of a motivational interviewing-(MI)-based preparatory procedure designed to reduce early attrition from alcoholism outpatient treatment. In order to study dissemination and adoption of the procedure, 150 New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) alcoholism outpatient clinics were randomly assigned to one of three dissemination conditions. Researchers examined the clinic sites’ rates of client retention and client treatment outcome prior to and following dissemination. Funded by a grant of $2,670,633 from NIAAA, 2004-2011.
|Walitzer/Dermen||Spouse Involvement in the Treatment of Alcohol Problems: Dr. Kimberly Walitzer examined whether the involvement of the drinker’s spouse and the inclusion of marital therapy improves the effectiveness of programs targeted to adults with mild to moderate alcohol problems. Data analysis is ongoing. Funded by a grant of $2,006,786 from NIAAA, 1994-2000.|
|Welte/Barnes||Gambling and Substance Use Among Youth in the U.S.
The goals of this study were to examine the prevalence of pathological gambling among U.S. youth; the relationship of youth gambling to neighborhood characteristics and the availability of gambling opportunities; and the relationship of youth gambling to other problem behaviors. A telephone survey of 2,274 U.S. youth found problem gambling (gambling with three or more negative consequences) was occurring at a rate of 2.1 percent among youth between the ages of 14 and 21. That percentage projects to approximately 750,000 young problem gamblers nationwide. In addition, 11 percent of the youth surveyed gambled twice per week or more, a rate that describes frequent gambling. Sixty-eight percent of the youth interviewed reported that they had gambled at least once in the past year. The results were published in the June 2008 issue of the Journal of Gambling Studies. Funded by a grant of $1,827,000 from NIMH, 2003-2008.
|Co-occurrence of Gambling and Substance Use in the United States: This study was a nationwide telephone Survey of Gambling in the United States (SOGUS) conducted in 1999-2000 with 2,631 U.S. adults. It included a geographic analysis using census data and the distances from the respondent’s home to gambling facilities such as casinos and tracks. It found a prevalence of pathological gambling of between one and two percent, and also found a very strong co-morbidity between gambling and alcohol pathologies. The study also found that respondents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods had a higher than average chance of being pathological gamblers, as did those who lived within 10 miles of a casino. Funded by a grant of $1,194,053 from NIAAA, 1998-2002.|
|Welte||Hospital Intervention Service (HIS) Program Evaluation: This study evaluated the New York State Hospital Intervention Service. HIS screens hospital patients for alcohol and drug dependence, and if necessary, performs a brief intervention or referral to treatment. Results showed that the HIS reduced the amount of heavy drinking among those with whom it intervened. Funded by a grant of $798,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 1992-95.|
|Drinking and Delinquency in Young Men: This project was a three-wave panel study of the relationship between substance abuse and criminal offending. Data analysis is ongoing. The following is an example of the results obtained to date: Among heavy-drinking young men with low intelligence, violent criminal behavior is much more prevalent than would be expected merely from their heavy drinking. Funded by a grant of $1,816,462 from NIAAA, 1991-97.|
|Windle||Vulnerability Factors and Drinking in Adulthood
Dr. Michael Windle, of Emory University in Atlanta, recently completed his Middle Adolescent Vulnerability Study of factors that place adolescents at risk for substance abuse with Western New York high school students and their families. This third phase of the study included participants with an average age of 28 years. The project expanded to include both mothers and fathers, as well as the spouses of the young adults (53% are now married). The areas of investigation also expanded to include physical health, exercise, and dietary habits. Renamed the “Lives Across Time Study,” results to date include the finding that youth who demonstrate problem drinking in adolescence are three and one half times more likely to have alcohol problems in young adulthood. In addition, they are four times more likely to manifest a substance use disorder. Gender differences in patterns of binge drinking -- six drinks or more on one occasion -- across early adulthood were indicated and were predicted by adolescent levels of delinquency and alcohol use. Subaward from from Emory University, 2006-2011.
|Wu/Houston||Neurophysiological and Behavioral Characteristics of Heavy Drinkers and Aggressive Drivers
This pilot study combined both biological and human factors approaches to inform transportation safety. The project examined the potentially interactive effects of aggressive driving and heavy drinking history on neurophysiological (event-related brain potentials) and behavioral measures during a driving simulation task. In addition, computational modeling techniques were applied to the experimental data to enhance the development of a driver-adaptive workload management system to optimize driver workload and improve transportation safety. Funded by the UB Interdisciplinary Research Fund to Dr. Changxu Wu, UB Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and subaccount to Dr. Rebecca Houston, RIA, 2008.
|York/Welte||Gender Comparison of Alcohol Exposure on Drinking Days: This project extended the investigators’ previous research on gender differences in alcohol consumption by focusing upon alcohol intake during discrete drinking episodes. The study documented for the first time the duration of typical drinking episodes, as well as the quantity of consumption, in a national general population survey of 2627 U.S. adults. This information, combined with anthropomorphic data, allowed for the reasoned estimation of the peak blood alcohol levels (BAC) achieved on a typical drinking day. The results found little difference between genders in the estimated peak BAC, which was also found to decrease gradually with advancing age in both genders. The study also quantified the risk of adult drinking problems for individuals who reported taking their first alcoholic drink in early adolescence and supported earlier reports that U.S. women are becoming more like men in their drinking habits. Funded by a grant of $116,250 from NIAAA, 2001-2003.|
|York||Age-Dependent Acquisition and Loss of Ethanol
Tolerance: In this animal model study,
the findings include:
Funded with a grant of $264,591 from NIAAA, 1990-94.
|York||Aging and Musculo-Motor Consequences
of Alcohol Abuse: This musculo-motor
performance study found the following:
|Zhuang/Richards||Genetic and Behavioral Dissection of Inhibitory Control
This study investigated biochemical changes underlying impaired inhibitory control in dopamine transporter expression (DAT knockdown) mice. Researchers tested the hypothesis that impaired postsynaptic dopamine D2 receptor function underlies impaired inhibitory control using a pharmacological rescue approach. They also tested the hypothesis that impaired D2 receptor function underlies impaired inhibitory control using mice that lack or have reduced postsynaptic D2 receptors. Funded by NIMH to Dr. Xiaoxi Zhuang, University of Chicago’s Neurobiology/Pharmacology/Physiology Department; subaward to Dr. Jerry Richards, RIA, 2003-2008.
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