The major long-term objectives of the proposed Pathway to Independence Award are to develop a program of research on the etiology and prevention of alcohol use and related negative consequences in young adults and the launching of her career as an independent scientist with an assistant professor position. These goals will be achieved via a 5-year training plan and complementary research plan.
Aims of the training plan include gaining experience in addictions research, personalized feedback interventions, social networking based recruitment, and dissemination of data. These more immediate goals will be achieved through an interactive training plan comprised of formal coursework, seminars, workshops, national conferences, and writing a literature review on alcohol interventions in young adults. Knowledge gained via the training plan will be augmented by the proposed research. The long-term goal of research plan to develop theoretically sound dual-processing alcohol interventions for young adults Specific aims of this research will be accomplished in two studies. Study 1, to be completed during the K99 mentored phase, consists of a longitudinal study designed to achieve specific aim # 1, which is to evaluate the Prototype Willingness model, when applied to alcohol use, in a sample of young adults aged 18-20 in order to inform the development of theoretically sound brief interventions. Study 2 (R00 phase) will employ an experimental design to achieve specific aims 2, 3, and 4, which are to determine whether interventions based on the full Prototype Willingness model and each active component (reasoned pathway and social pathway) are efficacious at reducing alcohol use in a young adult sample, ages 18-20 relative to an assessment only control, determine if college student status (currently enrolled or not) and drinking behavior (light versus heavy) moderates the efficacy of reasoned versus social interventions, and to determine theoretical mechanisms underlying the social, reasoned, and integrated intervention efficacies. Drs. Mary Larimer, Melissa Lewis, and Clayton Neighbors will serve as mentors on this award and will provide expertise in alcohol use, experimental methodology, and designing and delivering personalized feedback interventions. Resources at the University of Washington provide an environment conducive to developing a career in alcohol research and gaining the skills necessary to launch a career as an independent scientist. The proposed studies will also provide pilot data for Dr. Litt's first R01 submission to NIAAA. The proposed award is consistent with NIH's goal of increasing and maintaining a strong cohort of investigators to address the Nation's behavioral and clinical research needs.

Public Health Relevance

Hazardous alcohol use and related negative consequences during young adulthood is a large public health concern. These data will contribute to advancing the field in understanding the dual processing nature of decisions to use alcohol and ultimately inform theoretically sound and efficacious alcohol interventions among young adults.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Transition Award (R00)
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No Study Section (in-house review) (NSS)
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White, Aaron
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University of Washington
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Litt, Dana M; Waldron, Katja A; Wallace, Elliot C et al. (2018) Alcohol-specific social comparison as a moderator of the norms-behavior association for young adult alcohol use. Addict Behav 90:92-98
Litt, Dana M; Lewis, Melissa A; Spiro, Emma S et al. (2018) #drunktwitter: Examining the relations between alcohol-related Twitter content and alcohol willingness and use among underage young adults. Drug Alcohol Depend 193:75-82
Garcia, Tracey A; Fairlie, Anne M; Litt, Dana M et al. (2018) Perceived vulnerability moderates the relations between the use of protective behavioral strategies and alcohol use and consequences among high-risk young adults. Addict Behav 81:150-156
Lewis, Melissa A; Litt, Dana M; Tomkins, Mary et al. (2017) Prototype Willingness Model Drinking Cognitions Mediate Personalized Normative Feedback Efficacy. Prev Sci 18:373-381
Lewis, Melissa; King, Kevin; Litt, Dana et al. (2016) Examining daily variability in willingness to drink in relation to underage young adult alcohol use. Addict Behav 61:62-7
Litt, Dana M; Lewis, Melissa A (2016) Examining a social reaction model in the prediction of adolescent alcohol use. Addict Behav 60:160-4
Moreno, Megan A; Arseniev-Koehler, Alina; Litt, Dana et al. (2016) Evaluating College Students' Displayed Alcohol References on Facebook and Twitter. J Adolesc Health 58:527-32
Litt, Dana M; Lewis, Melissa A; Rhew, Isaac C et al. (2015) Reciprocal relationships over time between descriptive norms and alcohol use in young adult sexual minority women. Psychol Addict Behav 29:885-93
Lewis, Melissa A; Litt, Dana M; Neighbors, Clayton (2015) The Chicken or the Egg: Examining Temporal Precedence Among Attitudes, Injunctive Norms, and College Student Drinking. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 76:594-601
Litt, Dana M; Lewis, Melissa A (2015) Examining the role of abstainer prototype favorability as a mediator of the abstainer-norms-drinking-behavior relationship. Psychol Addict Behav 29:467-72

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