This Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) will provide the candidate with skills to pursue her long-term career goal to become an independent, NIH-funded researcher examining contextual influences on the development of substance use between adolescence and early adulthood. The training goals associat- ed with this award are for the candidate: (1) to receive advanced training in longitudinal methods, complex con- textual analyses, and substance use epidemiology by enrolling in graduate level courses and attending nation- al meetings;(2) to engage in longitudinal and contextual research under the mentorship of a renowned team involved in substance use research;(3) to apply the skills learned through conducting independent research using longitudinal georeferenced data;and (4) to develop leadership skills and qualifications for an academic career. Drs. Richard Scribner, Kristina Jackson, David Seal, and Frances Mather will serve as mentors on this award and will provide expertise in substance use epidemiology and development, contextual research meth- ods, longitudinal research methods, Biostatistics, and career development. The training goals will be met through individual and joint meetings with mentors;participation in graduate level coursework;attendance at conferences;mentored publication development;and execution of a research project. Tulane University will provide an environment conducive for research examining contextual effects on the development of alcohol and other substance use.
The aims of the research, in which training will be applied, are: (1) to identify trajecto- ries of binge alohol use between adolescence and young adulthood, including differences by gender and schooling status and conjoint development with influential interpersonal processes;(2) to compare physical, policy and normative contextual correlates of binge alcohol use at ages 15-16, 18-19 and 23-24;and (3) to in- vestigate how changes in environments over time impact binge alcohol use trajectories in the post-high school transition. The research will include analysis of an existing longitudinal dataset, the Panel Study on Income Dynamics Child Development Supplement and Transition to Adulthood Study (PSID-CDS, PSID-TA). Geo- coded data from adolescent and young adult participants will be linked to data on physical, policy and norma- tive environments at the different ages. Longitudinal analyses will examine growth patterns of binge drinking, including whether these growth patterns correlate with changes in parental monitoring and peer alcohol use, or changes in status (i.e., enrolling in college, leaving the parent's home, becoming legal drinking age, etc.) Multi- level and spatial analyses will explore how various environmental influences are associated with binge drinking at different ages. Complex multilevel analyses will be explored to determine if changes in physical, policy or normative environments as participants age are associated with changes in binge drinking over time. Skills gained in this K01 will be used by the candidate to develop an R01 proposal examining multilevel determinants of alcohol use development among African American youth with varying levels of trauma exposure.
This K01 will allow the candidate to develop skills to investigate contextual influences on the development of substance use and other risk behaviors during the high-risk transition from adolescence into early adulthood, which would be suggestive of future policy-related interventions. Given the high health, social and economic costs associated with substance use during adolescence and early adult- hood, such knowledge is essential for formulating efficient context-based strategies that are developmentally sensitive among adolescents and young adults.