Current Projects

SIDE Procedures: Simulations for modeling drinking and drug use in youth

SIDES graphic
Anderson et al. (2013)

We developed laboratory simulations to examine adolescent and emerging adult decision making about alcohol and drug use in social contexts.

United States

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The A-SIDE video simulation assesses alcohol- and marijuana-related decision making in adolescents. The C-SIDE (collegiate) and M-SIDE (marijuana) audio simulations target substance use decision making in across five commonly experienced social contexts for emerging adults on campus or in the community.


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The S-SIDE (smoking) assesses tobacco-related decision making in Dutch university students. A modified C-SIDE procedure is available for use with Dutch university students.

The Project Options Program

Project Options website

High School based prevention program designed for and by youth in our community

Available to all students during lunch with free pizza and drinks

Does not overlap with currently available programs at each high school

Is not therapy or treatment

Assists youth in our community to avoid alcohol related problems

Enhances motivation and incentives for healthy lifestyles

Project Options website

Adolescent Alcohol Use: Elementary, Middle and High School

Venne diagramOur program of research is geared toward understanding youth decisions to drink alcohol from late childhood through late adolescence.

Past research in our lab and others have shown that many factors influence youth decisions to initiate and escalate drinking. Our work has focused on personality, learning and social influences on these behaviors.

We collaborate with prevention and intervention specialists to create developmentally-appropriate strategies to prevent escalation in alcohol and drug use.