Reaching Others University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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John W. Welte, PhD

John W. Welte, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Psychology

Contact Information

1021 Main Street
Buffalo, NY  14203-1016
Phone: (716) 887-2503
Email: welte@ria.buffalo.edu

Primary Research Areas

Survey epidemiology of substance abuse; relationship between substance abuse and criminal offending; survey epidemiology of pathological gambling.

Ecological and Sociocultural Influences on Native American Gambling and Alcohol Use

Barnes | Welte | Tidwell | Patterson | Spicer
Using national telephone survey data, this study will examine the effects of gambling availability and sociodemographic factors on the frequency of gambling and co-occurring alcohol abuse among Native Americans in the U.S.

Survey of Native American Gambling

In this newly funded national telephone survey of Native American adults, Drs. Barnes, and colleagues will examine the effects of gambling availability and sociodemographic actors on the frequency of gambling and co-occurring alcohol abuse among Native Americans in the U.S. The team of investigators working with Dr. Barnes includes Dr. John Welte and Dr. Marie Tidwell of the ongoing national study of gambling in the U.S., as well as two experts in Native American research, Dr. David Patterson, Silver Wolf (Adelv unegv Waya) of Washington University in St. Louis and Dr. Paul Spicer of the University of Oklahoma.). Funded by a grant of $416,063 from NIAAA, 2011-2015.

Problem Gambling — A Decade of Change

Welte | Barnes | Wieczorek
Data from this survey will be compared to a 2000 survey to analyze trends in gambling in the U.S. over the past decade.

Since Dr. John Welte’s National Survey of the Co-occurrence of Gambling and Substance Use in the U.S. in 2000, there has been rapid growth of both the public profile and availability of gambling in this country. In this newly funded national telephone survey of adults, Dr. Welte and colleagues will collect information about the respondents’ gambling and substance involvement, census data about the respondents’ neighborhoods, distances from the respondents' homes to gambling venues, and information about state gambling laws. This data will be combined with the data from the 2000 survey for the purpose of analyzing trends in gambling in the U.S. over the last decade among U.S. adults generally, as well as in relevant sub-groups of the population. The research team will examine the relationship between gambling trends and changes in state gambling laws, changes in the density of gambling facilities, changes in U.S. neighborhoods and changes in social approval of gambling. Additionally, they will examine forms of gambling that have recently grown in popularity, such as internet gambling, fantasy football and Texas Hold-em poker. This investigation will supply empirical data which are relevant to current controversies about gambling policy and liberalized gambling regulations in the U.S. Dr. Welte’s co-investigators on this research are Dr. Grace Barnes of RIA and Dr. William Wieczorek of Buffalo State College. Funded by a grant of $3,001,078 from NIAAA, 2009-2015.

Initiation and Continuation of Drinking and Driving Behavior

Wieczorek | Welte | Nochajski | Marczynski | Wong

This study, led by Dr. William Wieczorek of Buffalo State College, was an investigation of the etiology of driving while intoxicated with the goal of informing prevention and intervention efforts. A fourth wave of interviews were added to the three waves collected by the Drinking and Delinquency in Young Men Study led by Dr. John W. Welte from 1991-97. At that time, 625 young men (ages 16-22) were interviewed. These men were re-interviewed to collect data on psychological traits, problem behaviors, and family information. Census data and neighborhood geographic information, such as the density of alcohol outlets, were added to the interview data. The specific goals include developing models of the initiation of drinking-driving behavior, long-term prospective models of continued drinking-driver behavior, and an examination of the impact of various geospatial methods of aggregating point data (e.g., alcohol outlets) into geographic units for use in multilevel and individual models of drinking and driving. The models developed included the psychological, deterrence, substance abuse, family, and neighborhood measures necessary to identify possible interventions. Co-Investigators included Dr. John W. Welte, RIA, Dr. Thomas Nochajski, UB’s Department of Social Work, Dr. Kelly Marczynski, Buffalo State College, and Dr. David Wong, George Mason University. Funded by NIAAA to Dr. Wieczorek, Buffalo State College, subaward to RIA, 2008-2012.

Development of a Computer Adaptive Test of Personality Disorder

Simms | Welte

The goals of this study were to develop a comprehensive set of personality pathology dimensions and an efficient method of measuring them. Computerized adaptive testing and item response theory were used, in a sample of psychiatric patients plus a general population sample. Funded by NIMH to Dr. Leonard J. Simms, UB’s Department of Psychology. Co-investigators include Drs. John E. Roberts, UB’s Department of Psychology and John W. Welte, RIA. Subaccount to Dr. Welte, 2008-2013.

Gambling and Substance Use Among Youth in the U.S.

National Survey of Youth and Gambling

The goals of this study were to examine the prevalence of pathological gambling among U.S. youth; the relationship of youth gambling to neighborhood characteristics and the availability of gambling opportunities; and the relationship of youth gambling to other problem behaviors. A telephone survey of 2,274 U.S. youth found problem gambling (gambling with three or more negative consequences) was occurring at a rate of 2.1 percent among youth between the ages of 14 and 21. That percentage projects to approximately 750,000 young problem gamblers nationwide. In addition, 11 percent of the youth surveyed gambled twice per week or more, a rate that describes frequent gambling. Sixty-eight percent of the youth interviewed reported that they had gambled at least once in the past year. The results were published in the June 2008 issue of the Journal of Gambling Studies. Funded by a grant of $1,827,000 from NIMH, 2003-2008.

Co-occurrence of Gambling and Substance Use in the United States

Welte | Barnes | Wieczorek

SOGUS logo

This study was a nationwide telephone Survey of Gambling in the United States (SOGUS) conducted in 1999-2000 with 2,631 U.S. adults. It included a geographic analysis using census data and the distances from the respondent’s home to gambling facilities such as casinos and tracks. It found a prevalence of pathological gambling of between one and two percent, and also found a very strong co-morbidity between gambling and alcohol pathologies. The study also found that respondents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods had a higher than average chance of being pathological gamblers, as did those who lived within 10 miles of a casino. Funded by a grant of $1,194,053 from NIAAA, 1998-2002.

Drinking and Delinquency in Young Men

Welte | Wieczorek | Zhang | Barnes

This project was a three-wave panel study of the relationship between substance abuse and criminal offending. Data analysis is ongoing. The following is an example of the results obtained to date: Among heavy-drinking young men with low intelligence, violent criminal behavior is much more prevalent than would be expected merely from their heavy drinking. Funded by a grant of $1,816,462 from NIAAA, 1991-97.