This renewal application proposes the Center for the Study of Adolescent Risk and Resilience (C-StARR). Initially funded in 2003 as a developmental (P20) center, the current cores-only (P30) center supports innovative interdisciplinary research on self-regulation and drug use in late adolescence. Our application for continuing funding as a NIDA P30 Core Center of Excellence describes an ambitious research agenda addressing genetic, neural, and cognitive mechanisms in self-regulation and proposes significant new investments in the collection of imaging, genetic, and biomarker data (biodata) to supplement behavioral and administrative data in ongoing studies. In order to achieve an overall goal of informing practice and policy, the work of the C-StARR will be guided by four specific aims. First, through its research support cores, the C-StARR will enhance the sampling, methods, and analyses of ongoing studies of adolescent self-regulation and substance use. Investigators have an unprecedented opportunity to analyze comprehensive educational records from the entire population of public school students in North Carolina in order to target specific samples and solicit them for new inquiry. Second, through pilot studies, C-StARR investigators will formulate and test novel hypotheses regarding the interplay of self-regulation and adolescent substance use and abuse. Third, the C-StARR will encourage and support the integration of biological processes with social processes in models of self-regulation. Fourth, support staff and senior investigators will contribute to the training of the next generation of behavioral scientists by integrating early-career faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate student research teams. The C-StARR will achieve these aims through three cores. The Administrative Core will provide scientific leadership, ensure collaboration and synergy across cores and projects, and lead training efforts. The Data Core will support innovative approaches to sampling, measurement, data collection, and data analysis. And the Biological Methods Support Core will support the addition of biodata to ongoing and pilot research studies by C-StARR investigators. The C-StARR will serve as a national resource for prevention scientists, intervention specialists, and policy makers.
The costs to society of the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs are among the highest of all conditions targeted by NIH. The proposed center will address this major public health concern by supporting an interdisciplinary team of behavioral scientists to conduct innovative research on the causes and consequences of substance use during late adolescence, the period when substance becomes costly.
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