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 izvorsky@uvm.edu to nominate an early career faculty member for next quarter!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment