Student of the Month – July 2016

Introducing our Student of the Month for July 2016, Corey Roos!

Student: Corey Roos

Mentor: Dr. Katie Witkiewitz (nominated by Dr. Matthew Pearson)

The University of New Mexico

C2015-03-14 19.13.07 - Copyorey Roos is currently a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of New Mexico. His research mentor is Dr. Katie Witkiewitz. Corey is primarily interested in better understanding mechanisms of behavior change related to substance use disorders and developing treatments to effectively treat substance use disorders. His specific areas of interest include: 1) mindfulness-based interventions and the role of mindfulness-based processes in addictive behaviors, 2) the role of coping and emotion regulation in substance use disorder development, maintenance, and recovery, and 3) using advanced quantitative analyses to better understand mechanisms of behavior change, such as which treatments work best for whom and why.

Roos, C.R., & Witkiewitz, K. (in press). Reward and relief dimensions of temptation to drink: Construct validity and role in predicting differential benefit from acamprosate and naltrexone. Addiction Biology.

Roos, C.R., & Witkiewitz, K. (in press). Adding tools to the toolbox: The role of coping repertoire in alcohol treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Roos, C.R., Kirouac, M., Pearson, M.R., Fink, B.C., & Witkiewitz, K. (2015). Examining alcohol craving from an existential perspective: Associations among craving, purpose in life, and drinking outcomes. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 29(3), 716.

Roos, C.R., Pearson, M.R., & Brown, D. B. (2015). Drinking motives mediate the negative associations between mindfulness facets and alcohol outcomes among college students. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 29(1), 176.

Pearson, M. R., Roos, C.R., Brown, D. B., & Witkiewitz, K. (2015). Neuroscience and mindfulness-based interventions: Translating neural mechanisms to addiction treatment.  In S. W. Feldstein-Ewing, K. Witkiewitz, & F. M. Filbey (Eds) Neuroimaging and Psychosocial Addiction Treatment: An Integrative Guide for Researchers and Clinicians. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Congratulations, Corey!

If you would like to nominate a SIG-AB Student of the Month, please email a brief letter of recommendation to Elly Leavens at We look forward recognizing more of our student members throughout the year!

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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 

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We are excited to introduce our Student of the Month for May 2016, Renee Cloutier!

Student: Renee Cloutier

Mentor: Dr. Heidemarie Blumenthal

University of North Texas

Cloutier_PictureThank you for selecting me as the Addictive Behaviors Special Interest Group Student of the Month for May 2016. I will be entering my fourth year of doctoral studies in Experimental Psychology/Behavioral Science at the University of North Texas working with Dr. Heidemarie Blumenthal in the Teen Stress and Alcohol Research (StAR) Laboratory. After obtaining my PhD, I plan to pursue a post-doctoral position to prepare me for a career as an academic researcher with a focus on the etiology of substance use among adolescents and emerging adults.

I am particularly interested in the relation among different types of social stressors (e.g., performance, peer rejection) and cognitive factors (e.g., substance use motives) on acute (e.g., self- administration, craving) and long-term (e.g., disorder, maturing out) substance use outcomes. To this end, I have coordinated several projects using different standardized social stress tasks (e.g., Trier, Cyberball) and modifications of these tasks (e.g., 2D vs. 3D Cyberball) with adolescent and emerging adulthood populations. Using both physiological (e.g., salivary cortisol, skin conductance) and psychological (e.g., state anxiety) markers, I have examined the relations between social stress reactivity to current and prospective symptoms of psychopathology. As a complement to my laboratory-based work, I also have analyzed large national datasets to explore potential mechanisms underlying substance use initiation and common substance use disorder comorbidities (e.g., Add Health; National Comorbidity Survey). Ultimately, my goal is to identify ways in which researchers may model substance use and related risk-processes in the laboratory, and ultimately the translation of such information to the design of effective, tailored intervention efforts.

*denotes manuscripts initially presented at ABCT conferences

*Cloutier, R.M., Blumenthal, H., & Mischel, E. (in press). An examination of social anxiety in marijuana and cigarette use motives among adolescents. Substance Use and Misuse. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2015.1110174

*Blumenthal, H., Cloutier, R. M., Zamboanga, B. L., Bunaciu, L., & Knapp, A. A. (2015). A laboratory-based test of the relation between adolescent alcohol use and panic-relevant responding. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. doi: 10.1037/pha0000022

Zamboanga, B. L., Tomaso, C. C., Cloutier, R. M., Blumenthal, H., Kenney, S. R., & Borsari, B. (in press). Drinking games participation among high school and incoming college students: A narrative review. Journal of Addictions Nursing.

Cloutier, R.M., Blumenthal, H., Douglas, M., Laslett, H., & Liu, K. (2015). A prospective study of psychophysiological responding to an acute social stressor and the development of social anxiety symptoms. Paper presented at the 16th biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Baltimore, MD.

Cloutier, R.M., Blumenthal, H., & Anderson, K.G. (2016). Using experimental and lab research to study adolescent substance use: A review & call for research. Poster accepted to the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Denver, CO.

Cloutier, R.M., Blumenthal, H., Taylor, D., Baxley, C. & Lasslett, H. (2015). The indirect effect of sleep problems in the link between social anxiety disorder and alcohol use disorders among a nationally representative sample of adolescents. Poster presented at the 49th annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Chicago, IL.​

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Early Career Faculty Spotlight

Congratulations to Jennifer Merrill for receiving our first quarterly Early Career Faculty Spotlight!

See below for more information about our esteemed member of the SIG.

20151203_#776Jennifer Merrill received her PhD from the University at Buffalo in 2012. She is currently an Assistant Professor (Research) at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University. She has primarily focused on investigating the etiology and consequences of alcohol misuse among young adults, with a particular interest in the subjective evaluation of alcohol-related consequences. She received a K01 career development award from NIAAA to examine the impact that event-level alcohol-related consequences and their subjective evaluations have on subsequent drinking decisions among heavy drinking college students. In addition, she has a growing interest in mobile-health interventions, and will soon run a pilot study to deliver accurate descriptive and injunctive norms information to college student drinkers, via text messaging, in hopes of impacting their drinking attitudes and behaviors. She has current interests in qualitative methods, ecological momentary assessment, advanced data analysis, and intervention development.

Representative Publications:
1. Merrill, J.E., Read, J.P., & Barnett, N.P. (2013). The way one thinks affects the way one drinks: Subjective evaluations of alcohol consequences as predictors of subsequent change in drinking behavior. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27, 42-51.

2. Merrill, J.E., Wardell, J.D., & Read, J.P.  (2014). Drinking motives as prospective predictors of unique alcohol-related consequences in college students. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 75, 93-102. PMC3893636

3. Merrill, J.E., Wardell, J.D., & Read, J.P. (2015). Is readiness to change drinking related to reductions in alcohol use and consequences? A week-to-week analysis. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 76, 790-798.

4. Merrill, J.E., & Carey, K.B. (2016). Drinking over the lifespan: Focus on college ages. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, 38.


Please email to nominate an early career faculty member for next quarter!

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Student of the Month – April 2016

Hi all!

Welcome to the SIG-AB blog. We are excited to introduce our Student of the Month for April 2016!








Student: Chelsie Young

Mentor: Dr. Clayton Neighbors

University of Houston

Summary of Research: I am broadly interested in social, affective, and cognitive influences on alcohol use and their applications to the development of empirically supported innovative intervention approaches for facilitating behavior change. Specifically, I am interested in identifying individual difference factors such as shame- and guilt-proneness, drinking identity, and motives for drinking, especially coping motives, that may contribute to hazardous drinking among college students. My research also focuses on interventions utilizing personalized normative feedback (PNF) and expressive writing to promote health and well-being and reduce problematic drinking. My dissertation sought to potentially improve PNF efficacy by increasing cognitive processing of the information and decreasing any defensiveness or reactance by adding a writing component. My findings provide preliminary support for my hypotheses such that participants who received personalized normative feedback and were asked to write about their reactions to the feedback reported significantly fewer alcohol-related problems at one-month follow-up. I am also particularly interested in understanding mechanisms of action related to intervention efficacy. For example, my colleagues and I recently found that PNF might work differently based on individual difference factors such as coping drinking motives. I look forward to continuing this line of research in the future to better understand why these interventions are effective and for whom they are most beneficial.

Representative Publications:

1. Young, C. M., Neighbors, C., DiBello, A. M., Sharp, C., Zvolensky, M. J., & Lewis, M. A. (in press). Coping motives moderate efficacy of personalized normative feedback among heavy drinking U.S. college students. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

2.Young, C. M., Neighbors, C., DiBello, A. M., Tomkins, M., & Traylor, Z. K. (in press). Shame and guilt proneness as mediators of the association between general causality orientations and depressive symptoms. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

3.Young, C. M., DiBello, A. M., Steers, M-L. N., Quist, M. C., Foster, D. W., Bryan, J. L., & Neighbors, C. (2016). I like people who drink like me: Perceived appeal as a function of drinking status. Addictive Behaviors, 53, 125-131. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.10.003

4.Young, C. M., DiBello, A. M., Traylor, Z. K., Zvolensky, M. J., & Neighbors. C. (2015). A longitudinal examination of the associations between shyness, drinking motives, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 39, 1749-1755. doi:10.1111/acer.12799

5.Young, C. M., Rodriguez, L. M., & Neighbors, C. (2013). Expressive writing as a brief intervention for reducing drinking intentions. Addictive Behaviors, 38, 2913-2917. PMCID: PMC3864107. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.08.025

Congratulations, Chelsie!


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