This application is for a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (MRSDA; K01). Abby L. Braitman, Ph.D., is an excellent candidate for this award. Her burgeoning program of research focuses broadly on harm reduction for emerging adult drinkers, with a specific focus on boosters to strengthen and extend the effects of popular online interventions for college drinking. Dr. Braitman [was previously] a National Research Service Award (NRSA) postdoctoral fellow at Old Dominion University, and the MRSDA would facilitate her goals of becoming a productive, independent scientist researching the reduction of alcohol-related problems among emerging adults. To strengthen her current skill set, broaden her knowledge to a wider scope, and add new skills to her repertoire, the following training goals have been identified for the award period: 1) to broaden and strengthen her emerging adult alcohol use knowledge base, 2) to develop expertise in the enhancement and evaluation of boosters to interventions for college drinkers, 3) to increase her proficiency in the principles an skills of Social Network Analysis, 4) to enhance scholarly productivity via secondary data analyses and manuscript preparation, and 5) to increase her skills and productivity regarding grantsmanship. The training and research plan enlists the mentorship and collaboration of Kate Carey, Ph.D., Professor of Behavioral & Social Sciences at Brown University, Michelle Kelley, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, and Cathy Lau-Barraco, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, both at Old Dominion University, [as well as Kayo Fujimoto, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Texas], with the consultant Ken Leonard, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) out of SUNY, Buffalo. Old Dominion University, a large, state-supported institution in Norfolk, Virginia is an ideal institutional environment to carry out these goals, with numerous resources in support of both the training and research goals specified. The research activities under the proposed award include a series of three studies designed to refine the methodology, improve the efficacy of an electronic booster, [and close the gap between in-person and computerized interventions]; this program of research aims to 1) examine if personal contact enhances the tailored feedback received via booster email, 2) identify optimal timing of delivery for booster, [3a) explore social mechanisms of change], 3b) examine the effects of interventions-plus-boosters when delivered to existing social networks (i.e., fraternities/sororities, and individual drinking networks), and 4) examine previously identified potential moderators and mediators of reductions in alcohol use and related problems. Results from the proposed research will provide preliminary data for an R01 application to be completed by Dr. Braitman during the award period. Completion of the proposed training and research would allow her to transition to independence as an investigator and lay the groundwork for her long-term career goals.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of the proposed research is to streamline and improve the efficacy of an innovative booster designed to strengthen and extend the effects of a computerized intervention targeting college drinking. The booster is low-cost and easy to disseminate, thus implementable on a large scale. Consequently, the public health impact may be far-reaching.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Initial Review Group (AA)
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Shirley, Mariela
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Old Dominion University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Lau-Barraco, Cathy; Braitman, Abby L; Stamates, Amy L (2018) A Randomized Trial of a Personalized Feedback Intervention for Nonstudent Emerging Adult At-Risk Drinkers. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 42:781-794
Lewis, Robin J; Winstead, Barbara A; Braitman, Abby L et al. (2018) Discrepant Drinking and Partner Violence Perpetration Over Time in Lesbians' Relationships. Violence Against Women 24:1149-1165
Kelley, Michelle L; Bravo, Adrian J; Hamrick, Hannah C et al. (2018) Killing during combat and negative mental health and substance use outcomes among recent-era veterans: The mediating effects of rumination. Psychol Trauma :
Braitman, Abby L; Battles, Allison R; Kelley, Michelle L et al. (2018) Psychometric Properties of a Modified Moral Injury Questionnaire in a Military Population. Traumatology (Tallahass Fla) 24:301-312
Braitman, Abby L; Lau-Barraco, Cathy (2018) Personalized Boosters After a Computerized Intervention Targeting College Drinking: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 42:1735-1747
Kelley, Michelle L; Ehlke, Sarah J; Lewis, Robin J et al. (2018) Sexual Coercion, Drinking to Cope Motives, and Alcohol-Related Consequences among Self-Identified Bisexual Women. Subst Use Misuse 53:1146-1157
Lau-Barraco, Cathy; Braitman, Abby L; Linden-Carmichael, Ashley et al. (2018) Mediators and Moderators of a Personalized Feedback Alcohol Intervention for Nonstudent Emerging Adult Drinkers. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 42:1756-1768
Kelley, Michelle L; Braitman, Abby L; White, Tyler D et al. (2018) Sex differences in mental health symptoms and substance use and their association with moral injury in veterans. Psychol Trauma :