The overarching aim of this Independent Scientist Award (K02) application is to develop skills in genetics and epidemiology, and enhance my expertise in quantitative methodology pertaining to substance use disorder (SUD) etiology. The goal of the research program in the next five years is to integrate statistical and psychometric methods for deriving a practical and valid assessment of SUD liability. Employing item response theory, in conjunction with longitudinal multivariate modeling, the product of the proposed research is a continuous scale that quantifies individual risk for SUD at ages 10-12, 16, 19, and 22. This scale will be a provisionally validated self-administered questionnaire that can be used in routine assessment of youth and young adults for identifying those in need of intervention. Two versions will be developed and compared: paper and pencil for group screening and computer adaptive testing for individual assessment. To achieve this project goal, I will access the Center for Education on Drug Abuse Research (CEDAR) database consisting of multidisciplinary protocols for measurement of SUD risk. In this center grant, where I direct the Methodology and Statistics Core, psychological and environmental risk factors are prospectively studied from childhood to adulthood. The education and training component will prepare me for an R01 that is directed at standardizing the SUD liability scale derived in this research in the context of a genetic epidemiological paradigm. In this manner, etiology from the standpoint of gene-environment interactions will be investigated using the SUD liability scale provisionally derived in this project and simultaneously standardized for practical application. The long-term career goal will thus be to apply my psychometric and statistical expertise to develop instrumentation that clarifies SUD etiology and conjointly has practical utility.

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 Pittsburgh
Schools of Pharmacy
United States
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Kirisci, Levent; Tarter, Ralph E; Reynolds, Maureen et al. (2016) Item Response Theory Analysis to Assess Dimensionality of Substance Use Disorder Abuse and Dependence Symptoms. Int J Pers Cent Med 6:260-273
Cornelius, Jack R; Chung, Tammy; Douaihy, Antoine B et al. (2016) Mirtazapine in comorbid major depression and an alcohol use disorder: A double-blind placebo-controlled pilot trial. Psychiatry Res 242:326-330
Kirisci, Levent; Vanyukov, Michael; Mezzich, Juan E (2016) Introduction to Metrics in Person Centered Medicine Research. Int J Pers Cent Med 6:248-249
Stewart, Chris; Kirisci, Levent; Long, Abigail L et al. (2015) Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Child Neglect Questionnaire. J Interpers Violence 30:3343-66
Cornelius, Jack R; Kirisci, Levent; Reynolds, Maureen et al. (2015) Does the Transmissible Liability Index (TLI) assessed in late childhood predict suicidal symptoms at young adulthood? Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 41:264-8
Tarter, Ralph E; Kirisci, Levent; Reynolds, Maureen et al. (2015) Longitudinal Modeling of the Association Between Transmissible Risk, Affect During Drug Use and Development of Substance Use Disorder. J Addict Med 9:464-9
Kirisci, Levent; Tarter, Ralph; Ridenour, Ty et al. (2015) Externalizing behavior and emotion dysregulation are indicators of transmissible risk for substance use disorder. Addict Behav 42:57-62
Zhai, Zu Wei; Kirisci, Levent; Tarter, Ralph E et al. (2014) Psychological dysregulation during adolescence mediates the association of parent-child attachment in childhood and substance use disorder in adulthood. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 40:67-74
Cornelius, Jack; Kirisci, Levent; Reynolds, Maureen et al. (2014) Does stress mediate the development of substance use disorders among youth transitioning to young adulthood? Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 40:225-9
Cornelius, Jack R; Haas, Gretchen L; Goldstein, Gerald et al. (2014) The ""S"" Allele of the Serotonin Transporter Is Not Associated with Major Depression in a Sample OF Veterans. Adv Genet Res 12:1-10

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