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Personal profile

Area of Expertise

My research focuses on uncovering why adolescents and young adults engage in health-risk behavior and how this knowledge can be used to identify protective and risk factors as well as prevent risk. My scholarly interests focus on advancing the understanding of the dual processing nature of decisions to engage in health-risk behaviors and inform theoretically sound and efficacious alcohol use and related risky sexual behavior interventions among adolescents and young adults. Alcohol use and concomitant risky sexual behavior are public health concerns that often initiate during adolescence. For many adolescents and young adults, when they begin drinking, they do so in an extreme fashion, with frequent heavy-episodic drinking episodes. What factors place some individuals at greater risk for negative consequences than others? How can we use our knowledge of risk and protective factors in interventions to reduce harm? These are precisely the type of questions my research seeks to answer.
My research connects with my value to conduct research that has potential to make a significant impact on public health. I value research and policy that aims to expand prevention and intervention to adolescents and young adults. Our health services need to meet the needs of young adults and incorporate technology to bring preventative interventions to adolescents and young adults, with potential for significant impact on public health. My program of research has been funded by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, and the Alcohol Beverage Medical Research Foundation.

Education/Academic qualification

BS in Psychology, Montana State University

MS in Psychology, Montana State University

PhD in Health and Social Psychology, North Dakota State University


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