Ongoing Research and Projects

Alcohol and Early Marriage: Spouse and Peer Influence

Co-investigator: Gregory G. Homish, PhD

Abstract: This is a 10-year study of adult couples recruited at the time they applied for their marriage license. This project is designed to examine the roles of individual differences, marital and peer influences on changes in drinking during the early years of marriage.

Alcohol, Health and Relationships

Principal Investigator: Gregory G. Homish, PhD

Abstract: Research on alcohol use, drug use and health outcomes has traditionally focused on personal risk factors only. Thus, risk that comes about from social network members (i.e., family, friends, coworkers, etc.) is often not considered. Among adults involved in romantic relationships, intimate partners can play a significant role in affecting change in each others’ substance use and health behaviors. This study examines the association between a problem drinking or alcoholic intimate partner and his/her partner’s substance use and health over time.

Assessing Youth Smoking Cessation Needs and Practices: The National Youth Smoking Cessation Survey (also known as the "Why Kids Don't Quit Project")

Principal Investigator: Gary A. Giovino, PhD, MS

Abstract: This longitudinal telephone survey queried smokers aged 16 to 24 years at baseline about their smoking cessation activity and factors that could influence quitting. Findings provide national estimates of quitting activity, help elucidate factors associated with the natural history of quitting among adolescents and young adults, and clarify preferences for different types of assisted quitting interventions among this age group. The survey began in July 2003 and analyses of the data set are ongoing. We are exploring predictors of quitting, with a particular emphasis on motivation to quit.

Cancer Risk Appraisals and Health Disparities

Principal Investigator: Heather Orom, PhD

Abstract: To date, little research on racial/ethnic differences in health behavior tests the premise that these differences emerge from complex relationships between individual beliefs and social context. Instead, most research has examined either set of factors in isolation. In this line of research, we are attempting to understand the influence community contextual factors such as poverty, racism or crime have, and culture have on illness beliefs such as perceived susceptibility.

Effects of Slowly Evolving Environmental Disasters on Psychological Wellbeing

Principal Investigator: Heather Orom, PhD

Abstract: This series of studies explore how widespread asbestos exposure in the town of Libby, Montana that has sickened many with asbestos related disease (ARD), has impacted individual and family psychological wellbeing. With her colleague Rebecca Cline (Kent State University), Orom has examined social support patterns in the community and its families. They  have also developed a model of how community conflict, a common response to human caused environmental disasters, influences psychological wellbeing.

Survey of Hard-Core Smoking and Interest in Tobacco Harm Reduction

Principal Investigator: Gary A. Giovino, PhD, MS

Abstract: The project surveyed 1,000 adult smokers in the United States to assess the prevalence of hard-core smoking in the population, interest in harm reduction, determinants of quitting and abstinence at 14-month follow-up (among 751 respondents who were successfully contacted). Questionnaire items permit estimation of hard-core smoking in the population, using indicators of nicotine addiction, interest in quitting and psychological co-morbidities. The data set also included measures of fruit and vegetable consumption, which was positively related to 30+ day abstinence at 14-month follow-up. Additional analyses incorporating adverse childhood experiences (e.g., physical, verbal and sexual abuse as children) will be conducted.