The long-term objective of this Pathway to Independence Award is two-fold: (1) support candidate Dr. Blayney in building an independent research program and (2) facilitate her transition from postdoctoral fellow to independent faculty researcher. To date, Dr. Blayney's research has focused on the risks for and consequences of sexual victimization in young adults, including the social and sexual contexts associated with sexual victimization risk. As part of postdoctoral training, Dr. Blayney's work has begun to examine the proximal influence of alcohol in sexual risk patterns for young women with and without sexual victimization histories. Dr. Blayney seeks to expand her training from basic alcohol research to developing and testing brief, technology-based interventions to reduce alcohol and sexual risk. This long-term objective will be achieved through a five-year training plan involving a carefully selected mentor team as well as targeted coursework (e.g., classes, seminars, workshops) and hands-on training experiences. The goal of the proposed research is to develop and test a specialized web-based intervention to reduce alcohol-related sexual risk behaviors among young women with sexual victimization histories, a high-risk and underserved group. During the mentored phase (K99), the intervention will be developed with user centered design (Aim 1), an innovative approach from the technology sector that incorporates the target population into all stages of development.
In Aim 1 a, intervention content will be drafted and presented to the target population (i.e., young women with sexual victimization histories) for user feedback.
In Aim 1 b, intervention design will be evaluated using rapid prototyping for user feedback before the intervention is programed. Once programed, Aim 1c will involve usability testing of intervention delivery with the target population. Following intervention development, Aim 2 will assess intervention feasibility and acceptability with a web-based open trial. During the independent phase (R00), a web-based RCT will be conducted to test intervention efficacy (Aim 3a), mechanisms of change (Aim 3b), and potential moderators (Aim 3c). Findings will serve as pilot data for an NIAAA R01 submission during the R00 phase. The training plan for this application will focus on intervention development and testing, innovative methods to enhance technology-based intervention development, and advanced statistics. Mentors (Drs. George, Bedard-Gilligan, Cue Davis, Rhew) and consultants (Drs. Billings, Widman) are committed to the candidate's training and each will provide unique expertise to the research and training plan. Support from this award will be essential to the candidate's development as an independent scientist who can contribute to alcohol research by developing and testing technology-based interventions to reduce alcohol and sexual risk. The University of Washington is well suited to provide a stellar training experience and will promote NIH's mission to develop early investigators who can be competitive for long-term research funding.

Public Health Relevance

Alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors are significant public health concerns, especially among young women with sexual victimization histories. The proposed study seeks to advance our knowledge of specialized intervention strategies to reduce alcohol-related sexual risk behavior in young women impacted by sexual victimization. Development and testing of a novel technology-based intervention to address the unique needs of this high-risk and underserved group is crucial to reducing alcohol-related sexual risk and consequences.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Career Transition Award (K99)
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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Initial Review Group (AA)
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Freeman, Robert
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University of Washington
Schools of Medicine
United States
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