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Clara M. Bradizza, PhD

Clara M. Bradizza, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Clinical Psychology

Research Scientist, Department of Family Medicine

Contact Information

1021 Main Street
Buffalo, NY  14203-1016
Phone: (716) 887-2532
Email: bradizza@ria.buffalo.edu

Primary Research Areas

Factors affecting relapse to substance use among the dually diagnosed; affect regulation treatments for substance use; smoking interventions among pregnant women; and learning factors in substance use.

Pretreatment Change in Drinking: Relationship to Treatment Outcome

Stasiewicz | Bradizza | Lucke | Schlauch
This five-year study will research how an individual’s change in alcohol use prior to beginning treatment predicts success during and after a treatment program.

Preliminary data on pretreatment change in drinking indicate that a subset of individuals make rapid, substantial changes prior to starting treatment and maintain these changes during and after treatment; others do not change substantially prior to treatment and show only modest improvements after entering treatment.  This application proposes to investigate trajectories of pretreatment changes in drinking and to examine the relationship of pretreatment change to treatment outcome. Grant funded by NIAAA in the amount of $2,708,039, 2014-2019.

Bradizza | Eiden | Stasiewicz | Brandon

Affect Regulation Training for Pregnant Smokers

Cigarette smoking during pregnancy is a significant public health issue that can have profound effects on women’s health and the health of their developing fetus. Smoking among pregnant women is associated with high levels of negative affect, which plays a key role in both continuing to smoke and attempting to quit smoking. The smoking cessation treatment strategies that have demonstrated effectiveness in regular smokers have not translated into effective treatment strategies for pregnant women. Therefore, the goal of this project was to develop and test an affect regulation smoking cessation intervention for pregnant smokers, particularly low-income pregnant smokers for whom other treatments have been ineffective. In phase one of the project, Dr. Bradizza and colleagues developed an eight-session Affect Regulation Training intervention. In phase two, a randomized clinical trial was conducted to compare the Affect Regulation Training intervention with a control intervention. The trial assessed the impact on smoking cessation rates at the six-month post-quit date and changes in affect regulation skills and negative affect among pregnant smokers, thereby providing long-term health benefits for both the mothers and their children. Dr. Bradizza’s co-investigators included Drs. Rina Eiden, Paul Stasiewicz, and Dr. Thomas Brandon of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of South Florida. Funded by a grant of $1,816,091 from NIDA and the Office of the Director, NIH, 2007-2012.

Identifying Multiple Mechanisms of Change in Alcoholism Treatment

In this study, Dr. Stasiewicz investigated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an empirically-supported treatment for alcohol dependence and its effects on coping skills, as well as four additional theoretically-relevant behavioral mechanisms of change specifically: increasing self-efficacy and self confidence, reducing positive outcome expectancies for alcohol use, increasing the therapeutic alliance, and reducing/regulating negative emotional states for their impact on treatment outcome. The study included 72 alcohol-dependent men and women participating in a 12-week trial of CBT for alcohol dependence. In addition, comprehensive research assessments were conducted with patients at baseline, end of treatment, and three months posttreatment. The goal of this study was to map the process of change in successful CBT by measuring the aforementioned theoretically relevant behavioral mechanisms of change on weekly occasions during treatment. Results are expected to contribute to a refinement of existing treatment procedures, a clearer picture of the processes of recovery, treatment dropout, poor response, and relapse. Dr. Stasiewicz’s co-investigator on the study is Dr. Clara M. Bradizza, RIA. Funded by a grant of $757,030 from NIAAA. This project was supported through funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), 2009-2012.

Affect Regulation Training for Alcoholics

Stasiewicz | Bradizza | Coffey | Gulliver

In this study, Dr. Paul Stasiewicz and colleagues developed and piloted a clinical intervention that addresses the problem of negative affect as it relates to alcohol use and alcohol relapse. Currently, negative affect is a component of nearly half of all relapses to alcohol use among men and women in treatment, however no well-developed, empirically-tested, efficacious treatments specifically address the impact of negative affect on relapse. This project will assist individuals in treatment to regulate and cope with negative affective episodes that threaten relapse to alcohol use. Phase one will develop a 12-session treatment manual for Affect Regulation Training (ART) delivered concurrently with a standard 12-session Treatment as Usual (TAU). Phase two will encompass a pilot study of outcomes for individuals participating in ART and TAU compared to individuals who receive TAU and a Health and Lifestyle Supplement (HLS). The long-term objective of this line of research is to make a brief, effective affect regulation intervention available to clinicians to enhance treatments for alcohol dependence. Dr. Stasiewicz’s colleagues on the project included Drs. Clara Bradizza, RIA, Scott Coffey, University of Mississippi’s Department of Psychiatry, and Suzy Bird Gulliver, Boston University’s Department of Psychiatry. Funded by a grant of $1,937,729 from NIAAA, 2005-2011.

Relapse Among Severely Mentally Ill Alcohol Abusers

The aims of this research are to look at factors that predict who continues to drink following alcohol and mental health treatment versus those individuals who are able to maintain abstinence from alcohol. We anticipate that some of the important factors affecting these relationships will include the extent and severity of psychiatric symptoms, how long the alcohol problem has existed, how regularly dual-diagnosis treatment is attended, and the types of coping skills project participants have to deal with difficult situations involving alcohol or other drugs. This four-year study will result in a better understanding of the kinds of factors that are most likely to lead to continued problem drinking among severely mentally ill individuals and in turn, help in the design of treatment programs that better meet the needs of this population. Dr. Clara Bradizza's co-investigators are Drs. Gerard Connors and Paul Stasiewicz of RIA and Stephen Maisto, Syracuse University. Funded by a grant of $1,567,083 from NIAAA, 2002-2007.

40 oz. Views: Alcohol Expectancies for Malt Liquor

Collins | Bradizza

This three-year study developed and tested the psychometric properties of a measure of beliefs about the effects of malt liquor. Malt liquor typically is marketed to younger, hip consumers and is sold in large volume containers (e.g. 40 oz) that cannot be resealed, thereby encouraging heavy drinking. Young adults (age 18 to 30 years) who regularly consumed malt liquor were identified by using computer-assisted telephone interviews. Some participated in focus groups designed to identify beliefs about malt liquor and the contexts in which it is consumed. Questionnaires were administered to approximately 600-800 participants. Results to be released soon. Funded by a $468,333 award from NIAAA, 2001-2005.

Drug Coping Skills Assessment of Dual-Diagnosis Patients

Dr. Bradizza evaluated the drug-specific coping skills of individuals dually-diagnosed with schizophrenia and a drug use disorder. Funded by a grant of $538,368 from NIDA, 1996-2002.