(PRO) Health Lab - Projects

PRO Health - Prevention Research to Optimize Health

Alcohol Projects

Project Achieve

Project Achieve was designed to gain a better understanding of how consequence specific constructs, such as willingness to experience and intention to avoid a consequence, influence experiencing alcohol-related consequences in undergraduate students who consume alcohol. It implements both a short-term (1 year) and long-term (over 4 years) longitudinal design to examine factors such as contextual changes (e.g. moving from on-campus to off-campus housing, turning 21) that may affect student endorsement of alcohol consumption. Additionally, subgroups of students who are at higher risk for experiencing consequences and developing chronic alcohol use patterns are examined, as well as optimal ways to target them with intervention efforts.

Funded by the NIH/NIAAA.
Awarded to Kimberly Mallett, Ph.D.
For more information, e-mail projectachieve@psu.edu.

Project Achieve Weekends

Project Achieve Weekends is an administrative supplement to Project Achieve. The major goal of this project is to gain a better understanding of the relationship between comorbid alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, and other illicit drug use and consequences when polysubstances are consumed; the factors associated with polysubstance use (i.e., motives, norms, context); and transitions into and out of risky substance use patterns over time, using a longitudinal, event-level design.

Funded by the NIH/NIAAA/NIDA
Awarded to Kimberly Mallett, Ph.D.
For more information, e-mail AchieveWeekends@psu.edu

Project PACT

Project PACT was designed to gain a better understanding of parental communication and its relationship to student drinking behavior throughout the college years by examining patterns that emerge while individuals are under the legal drinking age, on through age 21. It specifically implements a longitudinal design to examine processes by which parent communication affects student drinking outcomes through the entire college experience.

Funded by the NIH/NIAAA.
Awarded to Rob Turrisi, Ph.D.
For more information, e-mail projectpact@psu.edu.

Project FYI

Project FYI was designed to collect pilot data that will guide the implementation of an established parent-based intervention (PBI) to reduce high-risk drinking among 2-year college students. These data will examine novel mediating processes, such as sleep deprivation due to heightened work and family obligations that may influence two-year college students’ high-risk alcohol and other substance use. In addition, we will examine how neurocognitive factors, such as executive cognitive functioning and reward sensitivity, may account for links between sleep deprivation and substance use in this vulnerable and understudied population. If we determine that two-year students exhibit fundamental differences in risk factors for substance use (e.g., distinct patterns of parent communication, increased sleep deprivation, heightened stress), then cultural adaptation of the PBI is necessary. Next steps would then entail submission of an application to NIH to adapt and test the adapted intervention.

Funded by the Penn State Social Science Research Institute
Awarded to Michael Cleveland, Ph.D.

Project EMERGE

Project EMERGE was designed to examine the different patterns, consequences, and risk factors of alcohol use among emerging adults who never enrolled in any type of academic or training institution (e.g., trade schools, community colleges, 4-year universities) after graduating high school. Although such youth comprise a substantial portion of young adults in the United States, virtually no intervention efforts are directed toward preventing high-risk alcohol use or related consequences among this group. A future goal of this research is to understand the similarities and differences of alcohol use and related consequences in non-college youth in comparison to young adults who do attend college or other academic institutions.

Funded by the Penn State Consortium on Families and Children.
Awarded to Michael Cleveland, Ph.D.

Project IDEAS

Project IDEAS is a longitudinal and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) designed to examine alcohol-related sexual assault (ARSA) risk among female students in their first semester of college. Specifically, we are interested in how people use protective behaviors when they are drinking or in different types of social settings. Using EMA, we are able to measure students' drinking and protective behavior use within their natural environment and in real time (via cellphones).

Funded by an F31 training fellowship sponsored by NIH/NIAAA.
Awarded to Nichole Scaglione, M.S., CHES

Project RIDE

Project RIDE was developed to understand the predictors of why college students decide to ride with a drinking driver (RWDD). Specifically, it examines how parents, peers, drinking habits and contextual factors influence willingness and intentions to RWDD. This project also aims to understand what influences or impedes parents to talk with their teens about the risks of RWDD. This research aims to aid future prevention programs to decrease RWDD.

Funded by an F31 training fellowshiop sponsored by NIH/NIAAA.
Awarded to Brittney Hultgren, M.S.

Project Engage

Project Engage was designed to examine two specific alcohol-related consequences linked with heavy drinking that can have lasting effects far beyond the college years. We are interested in examining behaviors related to drinking and driving, and riding with drinking drivers, as well as various alcohol- and dating-related protective behaviors used to prevent unwanted, forced, and regretted sex amongst college students in order to assess what predictors appear to have a strong influence on these drinking-related consequences.

Funded by the NIH/NIAAA.
Funded through support from the Department of Biobehavioral Health and the Prevention Research Center to Rob Turrisi, Ph.D.
Co-PIs, Nichole Scaglione, M.S., CHES and Brittney Hultgren, M.S.
For more information, e-mail projectengage@psu.edu.

Project ACT

Project ACT was designed to develop and evaluate an intervention strategy to reduce the onset and extent of binge drinking in students during their first year of college. The approach taken was relatively novel in that the focus of the intervention was on influencing binge drinking behavior of the students before they came to college, through their parents, during the critical time between high school graduation and the beginning of college. Almost all current approaches in the binge drinking domain are based on implementing an intervention while the students are at college. By contrast, the present approach attempted to reach students just before they came to college, so as to make them more resistant to influences that encouraged the adoption or continuation of binge drinking behaviors.

Funded by the NIH/NIAAA.
Awarded to Rob Turrisi, Ph.D.

Skin Cancer Projects

Project Skin Watch

Project Skin Watch was designed to enhance the ability of patients with a history of melanoma and their significant others to self-identify the recurrence of skin cancer in order to promote early detection and treatment. The focus of the study is to teach individuals who are at an increased risk of developing melanoma and their partners how to detect future melanomas through the utilization of skin self-examinations. Further, the study implements a longitudinal design and compares intervention delivery mechanisms (take home manual vs. in-person training) which will help us identify whether the intervention enhances early detection as well as the optimal method of intervention delivery.

Funded by the NIH/NCI.
Awarded to Rob Turrisi, Ph.D.
For more information, email projectskinwatch@psu.edu

Project Options

Project Options was designed to examine how well Medical Doctors can deliver the 2-3 minute ABC (Address Behavior Change) method of physician-patient communication during a routine office visit, following training and supervision. Brief Negotiated Interviews (BNIs) have been shown to be efficacious in modifying health-related behaviors that are extremely resistant to change (e.g. smoking), and may be a promising approach to use in lowering UV risk behaviors. The ABC method was developed to emphasize a collaborative relationship between health care providers and patients when addressing behavior change, rather than MDs dictating change to a patient. A future goal of this research is to determine if the ABC intervention is effective in changing patient behavior.

Funded by the NIH/NCI.
Awarded to Kimberly Mallett, Ph.D.

Project iSTART

Project iSTART, a collaboration with East Tennessee State University, is a web-based, appearance-focused intervention directed at a nationally representative sample of high school girls with a goal of reducing tanning intentions, frequency, and the overall percentage of users while increasing sun protective behavior. We will track these students for two years to examine whether the intervention is able to reduce long-term skin cancer risk behaviors. We will also identify subgroups for whom the intervention is more effective versus less effective, such as having a mother who tans, peer group affiliation or year in school. High school represents a critical developmental stage for both melanoma risk and for the development of regular, frequent tanning habits, and Project iSTART will be the first anti-tanning intervention delivered to high school teens via the internet.

Funded by the NIH/NCI.
Awarded to Rob Turrisi, Ph.D.
For more information, e-mail projectistart@psu.edu.