Student of the Month – June 2016

We are excited to introduce our Student of the Month for June 2016, Tony Ecker!

Student: Tony Ecker

Mentor: Dr. Julia Buckner

Louisiana State University

Ecker pictureTony’s research has the aim of better understanding co-occurring substance use and anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders and substance use co-occur at high rates, and this co-occurrence is associated with much impairment, including substance use disorders. Tony’s work aims to identify mechanisms that underlie this co-occurrence, and to improve treatment of co-occuring conditions. Tony aims to employ multiple methods to better understand these conditions, using survey based studies, experimental methods, and ecological momentary assessment. As an example of this line of research, Tony’s recently completed dissertation investigated post-event processing, a cognitive phenomenon common among those with social anxiety disorder in which individuals review past social events in great detail, often resulting in greater negative affect. Post-event processing mediated the relationship between trait social anxiety and cannabis-related problems, suggesting that it is a mechanism that links anxiety and cannabis use disorders. Given that prior work has shown post-event processing to be treatment-malleable, it may be a useful target of cognitive restructuring among those with co-occurring social anxiety and cannabis use.

Buckner, J.D., Zvolensky, M.J., Ecker, A.H., Jeffries, E.J. (2016). Cannabis craving in response to laboratory-induced social stress among racially diverse cannabis users: the impact of social anxiety disorder. Journal of Psychopharmacology30(4), 363-369. doi: 10.1177/0269881116629115

Buckner, J.D., Ecker, A.H., Beighley, J.S., Zvolensky, M.J., Schmidt, N.B., Shah, S.M., Carroll, K.M. (2016). Integrated cognitive behavioral therapy for comorbid  cannabis use and anxiety disorders. Clinical Case Studies15 (1), 68-83. doi:10.1177/1534650115590857

Ecker, A.H., Richter, A., & Buckner, J.D. (2014). Social anxiety and cannabis-related problems: The moderational role of perception of a friend’s cannabis-related problems. Addictive Behaviors, 39, 1746-9. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.07.004

Ecker, A.H., & Buckner, J.D. (2014). Cannabis use behaviors and social anxiety: The roles of perceived descriptive and injunctive peer norms. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 75, 74-82.

Ecker, A.H., Buckner, J.D., Zvolensky, M.J., Crosby, R.D., Wonderlich, S.A. (2014, November). Antecedents and consequences of cannabis use among racially diverse community cannabis users: An analysis from ecological momentary assessment. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Addictive Behaviors Special Interest Group, Philadelphia, PA.

Congratulations, Tony!

To nominate a student for the SIG-AB Student of the Month feature, please email Elly Leavens at leavens@okstate.edu. 

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