This renewal application for an independent scientist award (K02) seeks to support the candidate toward gaining knowledge and acquiring necessary skills for incorporating genetics into his investigations on the developmental pathways of youth drug behaviors, including substance use disorders (SUDs). The intensive period of study afforded by the renewal K02 will involve course work, workshops and consultations with experts in the field of genetics and addictions. Supported by a funded R01, the research development plan will enhance the analysis of current longitudinal data sets and the development of future studies of existing prospective samples. Specific career development goals include: (1) gaining an understanding of the use of state-of-the-art methodologies pertaining to collecting, storing and genotyping genetic material for use in genetic analyses;(2) developing expertise in the use of statistical techniques on longitudinal data involving genetic and environmental variables;(3) gaining expertise in applying gene-environment analyses to existing prospective data sets in order to test and validate gene-environment models that inform our understanding of developmental pathways of adolescent drug use behaviors;and (4) continuing a commitment to teaching service and responsible conduct of science. The applicant's enhanced research skills in genetics will be applied to existing prospective longitudinal samples in order to advance knowledge on the causes and consequences of youth drug use behaviors. These samples represent three groups: high-risk (n=274), treatment (n=393), and matched control (n=190). All samples have already been followed at multiple points (4 waves of assessment) up to their current young adult status (average age is 22.1 years), and the supporting R01 will include two more waves of assessment and the collection of DNA. Study hypotheses will focus on genetic influences, and the interplay of genetic and nongenetic factors on the course and pattern of developmental pathways of youth drug use behaviors.

Public Health Relevance

By further clarifying the nature of developmental pathways of youth drug abuse, prevention and treatment efforts can be better informed.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research (K02)
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Study Section
Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Weinberg, Naimah Z
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Dembo, Richard; Briones-Robinson, Rhissa; Barrett, Kimberly et al. (2014) Brief Intervention for Truant Youth Sexual Risk Behavior and Marijuana Use. J Child Adolesc Subst Abuse 23:318-333
Breyer, Jessie L; Lee, Susanne; Winters, Ken C et al. (2014) A longitudinal study of childhood ADHD and substance dependence disorders in early adulthood. Psychol Addict Behav 28:238-46
Winters, Ken C; Lee, Susanne; Botzet, Andria et al. (2014) One-year outcomes and mediators of a brief intervention for drug abusing adolescents. Psychol Addict Behav 28:464-74
Winters, Ken C (2013) Advances in the science of adolescent drug involvement: implications for assessment and diagnosis - experience from the United States. Curr Opin Psychiatry 26:318-24
Winters, Ken C; Fahnhorst, Tamara; Botzet, Andria et al. (2012) Brief intervention for drug-abusing adolescents in a school setting: outcomes and mediating factors. J Subst Abuse Treat 42:279-88
Winters, Ken C; Botzet, Andria M; Fahnhorst, Tamara (2011) Advances in adolescent substance abuse treatment. Curr Psychiatry Rep 13:416-21
Winters, Ken C; Toomey, Traci; Nelson, Toben F et al. (2011) Screening for alcohol problems among 4-year colleges and universities. J Am Coll Health 59:350-7
Winters, Ken C; Martin, Chris S; Chung, Tammy (2011) Substance use disorders in DSM-V when applied to adolescents. Addiction 106:882-4; discussion 895-7
Gans, Jeremy; Falco, Mathea; Schackman, Bruce R et al. (2010) An In-Depth Survey of the Screening and Assessment Practices of Highly Regarded Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Programs. J Child Adolesc Subst Abuse 19:33-47
Breyer, Jessie L; Botzet, Andria M; Winters, Ken C et al. (2009) Young adult gambling behaviors and their relationship with the persistence of ADHD. J Gambl Stud 25:227-38

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