Current and Ongoing Research Projects

Evaluation and Optimization of a Just-in-Time Messaging Intervention to Reduce Alcohol-Facilitated Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration Among At-Risk Young Adult Men and Women
Principal Investigator: Dr. Cynthia Stappenbeck
Co-Investigators: Dr. Kelly Cue Davis (Arizona State University), Drs. Michele Bedard-Gilligan and Christine Lee (University of Washington), and Dr. Inbal (Billie) Nahum-Shani (University of Michigan)
Funding Source: National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Grant Number: R01AA027994

Acute alcohol intoxication is a robust predictor of intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration for young adult men and women. Therefore, interventions delivered proximally to drinking episodes – a period of high risk – are needed to reduce alcohol-facilitated IPV. This project will deliver a just-in-time text messaging intervention proximal to drinking episodes and evaluate the impact of the intervention on alcohol-facilitated IPV in a sample of at-risk young adult men and women. Additionally, through an innovative micro-randomized trial design, this project is poised to answer these important questions: whether receiving a message, when, for women, what time, and under what conditions this just-in-time messaging intervention leads to reductions in alcohol use and IPV perpetration.

COVID-19 Supplement to the project “Proximal Effects of Alcohol and Same-Sex Intimate Partner Violence”
Principal Investigator: Dr. Dominic Parrott
Co-Investigators: Dr. Cynthia Stappenbeck, Dr. Kevin Swartout, Dr. Amy Hequembourg, Dr. Katherine Mason
Funding Source: National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Grant Number: R01AA025995

The parent grant on which this supplement was based represents the first research to date to explicitly test the proximal and temporal effects of alcohol on the perpetration of aggression in same-sex couples. The COVID-19 supplement responds to the urgent need for research on the social and behavioral effects of the 2019 novel coronavirus and COVID-19. Specifically, the supplement aims to inform how pandemic stress contributes to etiological models of alcohol-related IPV perpetration in sexual and gender minority couples and inform a culturally-sensitive, low burden, and easy to disseminate text-based intervention to mitigate these effects critical during a pandemic when access to care is limited.

COVID-19 Stress Study
Principal Investigators: Dr. Anna Jaffe, Dr. Cynthia Stappenbeck, Dr. Jessica Blayney, Dr. Jennifer Duckworth

The purpose of this research is to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic may be impacting college students’ lives, including their alcohol use, distress, aggressive behavior, and sexual experiences. Data is being collected at Georgia State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Washington State University to compare the effect of local context and policies.

Interpersonal Relationships and Health Study
Principal Investigator: Dr. Cynthia Stappenbeck

This study, largely led by the lab’s graduate students, is designed to help us understand whether sexual objectification and related variables are predictors of STI risk behaviors. Additionally, this research seeks the examine the associations between interpersonal variables (i.e., interpersonal problems, social interaction anxiety, intolerance of uncertainty, relationship quality, experiences of interpersonal and sexual violence) and related psychological and behavioral variables (e.g., heavy drinking, self-blame).

Past Research Projects

Project WEB
Principal Investigator: Dr. Cynthia Stappenbeck
Funding Source: National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Grant Number: K08AA021745

Project WEB is a web-based intervention to reduce heavy drinking among college women with sexual assault histories. Women with sexual assault histories often have difficulty regulating and tolerating distress, which can lead to a pattern of drinking to cope that interferes with recovery. Thus, college is a critical time to intervene around sexual assault related concerns to improve outcomes. However, survivors of sexual assault do not seek in-person treatment at rates consistent with their level of difficulties, and for those who do, many colleges do not have adequate capacity. To meet the needs of this population that may otherwise go unaddressed, we developed and evaluated a web-based alcohol intervention to improve distress tolerance and emotion regulation skills.