CRASH Lab: Close Relationships, Addiction, Stress and Health Lab

A man and a woman standing next to each other holding hands.

Students interested in social science, helping professions (e.g., psychology, counseling, social work), and/or public health can participate in federally-funded studies examining close relationships and substance use.

Project description

The CRASH Lab focuses on examining the reciprocal relations among close relationships (e.g., family, friends, romantic partners), stress, and substance use. Using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, studies in the lab build upon existing knowledge of interpersonal processes and social influences on health behavior, and work toward the development of new measures and ways of leveraging these close relationship influences to improve health (e.g., how to use spouses/partners to help their loved one reduce problematic alcohol use).

Student lab members will gain experience in the development and use of surveys, interviews, and focus groups; literature review; participant recruitment and interaction; quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques; and the scientific publication process. Student participants are encouraged to define and develop research questions that link aspects of CRASH Lab studies to their intended future research interests.

Students may earn undergraduate research credit through their participation in the lab either through the Department of Psychology or Department of Community Health and Health Behavior.

Project outcome

CRASH Lab student members are encouraged to identify research interests early in their lab experience and to develop a research question related to CRASH studies. As they gain experience in research practices, they have the opportunity to develop a culminating short paper or poster, appropriate for an undergraduate level research conference. Potential opportunities include, but are not limited to, CRIA Student Research in Addiction Sciences Open House, Eastern Psychological Association conference, and New York State Public Health Association.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Minimum commitment is 1 semester, but preference will be given to students who can commit to more than 1 semester working in the lab.
Start time  Anytime
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Individual and small group projects
Benefits  Academic credit
Who is eligible All undergraduate students with good communication skills, attention to detail and ability to work independently.

Core partners

Project mentor

Jennifer Fillo

Research Assistant Professor

Psychology; Community Health and Health Behavior

Phone: (716) 887-2496


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Completion CITI human subjects training modules for social/behavioral research and responsible conduct of research
  • Becoming familiar with Dr. Fillo's previous work
  • Reading key articles related to the topics studied and methods used in the lab


Psychology; Community Health and Health Behavior