Senior Research Scientist
Research Assistant Professor, Community Health and Health
The influence of close relationships on self-regulation, well-being, health, health behaviors, and addictive behaviors; the influence of substance use on close relationship functioning and intimate partner aggression; daily diary and EMA research methods.
| Miller |
This research will examine the conditions under which bullying and sexual harassment among teens may contribute to emotional distress and the development of substance use.
Unfortunately, many youth experience abuse at the hands of their
peers. Some experience few if any consequences, while for others,
the consequences can be life-altering and severe. Little is known
about the conditions under which peer victimization is most likely
to cause harm and for whom. This research will examine the
conditions under which peer victimization (i.e., bullying and peer
sexual harassment) contributes to emotional distress and the
development of substance use among adolescents, both acutely and
over time. A randomly selected sample of 13-15 year-old
adolescents (N=950) will be recruited from the community to
participate in a two-year longitudinal survey study of peer
victimization, emotional adjustment, and substance use. An
8-week daily process study will be embedded within the longitudinal
survey to capture daily experiences of peer victimization and acute
responses among a sub-sample of victimized students. This
multi-method approach will enable us to identify the circumstances
under which peer victimization is deleterious and for whom, as well
as potential protective factors that can be targeted for
Derrick, Joe Lucke
and Amanda Nickerson (Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention,
Graduate School of Education, UB) are the Co-Investigators on the
study. Funded by a grant of $1.8 million from NIAAA, 2013-18.
Testa | Derrick
The acute effects of marijuana use within couples will be examined as a way of understanding the potential role of marijuana in understanding partner aggression, both immediately after use, and as it develops over time.
Although marijuana is commonly believed to suppress aggression, surveys consistently reveal positive associations between marijuana use and perpetration of intimate partner violence. However, it is not known whether on a proximal, event level marijuana use results in affective, cognitive, or behavioral effects consistent with partner aggression. The current study addresses this gap with a 30 day, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) study of marijuana use and couple functioning in a sample of young couples in which one or both partners use marijuana. Couples will be followed for one year, to determine whether marijuana use or its immediate consequence influence relationship functioning and stability over time. Dr.Testa's co-investigators include Drs. Jaye Derrick, Kenneth Leonard of RIA, and Lorraine Collins of the School of Public Health and Health Professions. Funded by a grant of $1,862,243 from NIDA, 2013-2017.
Survey research has repeatedly shown that social support enhances smoking cessation. However, interventions designed to increase the provision of social support do not show consistent effects on smoking outcomes. This suggests that there is a disconnect between the behaviors that people self-report finding helpful for quitting smoking, and the behaviors that actually influence quitting smoking. This study employs a daily process approach to study partner behaviors during a smoker's quit attempt. Both the smoker and his or her partner will report in near-real time on their relationship functioning, mood, energy levels, and smoking urge and lapses for three weeks while one partner tries to quit smoking. Results will provide information on the partner behaviors that are most influential for successful smoking cessation. This information can be used to develop more successful interventions for smoking cessation in the future. Co-Investigators include Drs. Rebecca Houston, Kenneth Leonard, Joseph Lucke of RIA and Dr. Mark Muraven of the University at Albany. Funded by a grant of $430,483 from NIDA, 2012-2014.