Psych prof wins $73K NIH grant to study alcoholism

By Randall S. Barton | July 16, 2015

Prof. Kristen Anderson [psychology 2007-] won a $73,000 grant from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to fund two years of a study entitled, “Facilitating Adolescent Self-Change for Alcohol Problems.”

The objective of Prof. Anderson’s research is to enhance understanding of the role gender plays in outcomes from an adolescent alcohol prevention program.

In adults, gender differences in substance use patterns and consequences have led researchers to explore whether gender-specific treatments for women are preferable. Research indicates that women-specific groups lead to greater treatment satisfaction.

Given developmental differences between adults and adolescents, examining gender differences in youth intervention processes merits further investigation. 

The specific goal of the project is to personalize prevention programming for girls and evaluate how gender and group composition influences satisfaction with the program, attendance, group processes and alcohol use behavior outcomes. 

The study also aims to examine whether Hispanic-American ethnicity influences prevention outcomes. Hispanic Americans are the fastest growing demographic in the United States with identified risks for early engagement and negative consequences from substance use. But the bulk of self-change research has involved adult Caucasians. Data from this investigation can support future research that meets the needs of Hispanic-American youth.

Ideally the project will aid in determining optimal prevention formats for both girls and underserved youth.

Prof. Anderson is a clinical psychologist and an expert in prevention strategies for alcoholism among adolescents.

Tags: Awards & Achievements, Professors