Fellowship: Stanford University Adult Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship (2022) CA
Predoctoral Clinical Internship, VA Palo Alto Health Care System (2021)
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh (2021)
Master of Science, University of Pittsburgh (2016)
Bachelor of Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (2013)
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
I am interested in elucidating factors that contribute to initiation, maintenance, and exacerbation of substance use, as well as problematic substance use consequences. To date, I have largely focused on investigating psychosocial aspects of social drinking experiences via naturalistic, experimental, and meta-analytic studies.
I additionally seek to use scholarly advocacy to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within clinical and academic spaces.
Kratom availability in California vape shops.
Preventive medicine reports
2023; 35: 102380
Kratom products are derived from trees native to Southeast Asia and have dose-dependent stimulant and opioid-like effects. Despite being on the Drug Enforcement Administration "Drugs and Chemicals of Concern List," kratom is legal for sale in most US states. However, there are scarce data on its availability. The goal of this study was to examine kratom availability in vape shops across the state of California and assess shop compliance with a local kratom sales ban (enacted in 2016) in San Diego City. As part of a larger study about retail tobacco marketing near colleges, availability of kratom was assessed in summer 2019 in a random sample of 614 vape shops that was stratified to compare stores near (≤ 3 miles) and distant (>3 miles) from colleges. Logistic regression examined kratom availability as a function of store type (stores that sold vape products only vs. stores selling other tobacco), nearness to college, and tract-level demographics. Kratom was available in 62.4% of observed stores and more often in vape-and-smoke (81.1%) than vape-only shops (11.5%, AOR = 40.4, 95% CI = 23.3-74.1). Kratom availability did not differ by nearness to colleges. In San Diego City, 46.2% of observed stores (95% CI = 28.8-64.5) sold kratom products. Findings indicate that kratom was available in the majority of vape shops and most commonly in vape-and-smoke shops. Widespread availability in tobacco specialty shops suggests the need for research on dual use with tobacco, kratom advertising and cross-product promotion, and the potential of state and local tobacco retail licensing to prohibit sales.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pmedr.2023.102380
View details for PubMedID 37680858
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10481347
Acceptability and Utility of a Smartphone App to Support Adolescent Mental Health (BeMe): Program Evaluation Study.
JMIR mHealth and uHealth
2023; 11: e47183
Adolescents face unprecedented mental health challenges, and technology has the opportunity to facilitate access and support digitally connected generations. The combination of digital tools and live human connection may hold particular promise for resonating with and flexibly supporting young people's mental health.This study aimed to describe the BeMe app-based platform to support adolescents' mental health and well-being and to examine app engagement, usability, and satisfaction.Adolescents in the United States, aged 13 to 20 years, were recruited via the web and enrolled between September 1 and October 31, 2022. App engagement, feature use, clinical functioning, and satisfaction with BeMe were examined for 30 days. BeMe provides content based on cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, and positive psychology; interactive activities; live text-based coaching; links to clinical services; and crisis support tools (digital and live).The average age of the sample (N=13,421) was 15.04 (SD 1.7) years, and 56.72% (7612/13,421) identified with she/her pronouns. For the subsample that completed the in-app assessments, the mean scores indicated concern for depression (8-item Patient Health Questionnaire mean 15.68/20, SD 5.9; n=239), anxiety (7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire mean 13.37/17, SD 5.0; n=791), and poor well-being (World Health Organization-Five Well-being Index mean 30.15/100, SD 16.1; n=1923). Overall, the adolescents engaged with BeMe for an average of 2.38 (SD 2.7) days in 7.94 (SD 24.1) sessions and completed 11.26 (SD 19.8) activities. Most adolescents engaged with BeMe's content (12,270/13,421, 91.42%), mood ratings (13,094/13,421, 97.56%), and interactive skills (10,098/13,421, 75.24%), and almost one-fifth of the adolescents engaged with coaching (2539/13,421, 18.92%), clinical resources (2411/13,421, 17.96%), and crisis support resources (2499/13,421, 18.62%). Overall app engagement (total activities) was highest among female and gender-neutral adolescents compared with male adolescents (all P<.001) and was highest among younger adolescents (aged 13-14 years) compared with all other ages (all P<.001). Satisfaction ratings were generally high for content (eg, 158/176, 89.8% rated as helpful and 1044/1139, 91.66% improved coping self-efficacy), activities (5362/8468, 63.32% helpful and 4408/6072, 72.6% useful in coping with big feelings), and coaching (747/894, 83.6% helpful and 747/894, 83.6% improved coping self-efficacy). Engagement (total activities completed) predicted the likelihood of app satisfaction (P<.001).Many adolescents downloaded the BeMe app and completed multiple sessions and activities. Engagement with BeMe was higher among female and younger adolescents. Ratings of BeMe's content, activities, and coaching were very positive for cognitive precursors aimed at reducing depression and anxiety and improving well-being. The findings will inform future app development to promote more sustained engagement, and future evaluations will assess the effects of BeMe on changes in mental health outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.2196/47183
View details for PubMedID 37639293
Beer Googles or Liquid Courage? Alcohol, Attractiveness Perceptions, and Partner Selection Among Males.
Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs
Perception of physical attractiveness (PPA) is a fundamental aspect of human relationships and may help explain alcohol's rewarding and harmful effects. Yet PPA is rarely studied in relation to alcohol, and existing approaches often rely on simple attractiveness ratings. The present study added an element of realism to the attractiveness assessment by asking participants to select four images of people they were led to believe might be paired with them in a subsequent study.Dyads of platonic, same-sex male friends [n=36; ages 21-27; predominately White (n=20)] attended two lab sessions, wherein they consumed alcohol and a no-alcohol control beverage (counterbalanced). Following beverage onset, participants rated PPA of targets using a Likert scale. They additionally selected four individuals from the PPA rating set to potentially interact with in a future study.Alcohol did not affect traditional PPA ratings but did significantly enhance the likelihood that participants would choose to interact with the most attractive targets [X 2 (1, N=36)=10.70, p<.01].While alcohol did not affect traditional PPA ratings, alcohol did increase the likelihood of choosing to interact with more attractive others. Future alcohol-PPA studies should include more realistic contexts and provide assessment of actual approach behaviors toward attractive targets, to further clarify the role of PPA in alcohol's hazardous and socially rewarding effects.
View details for DOI 10.15288/jsad.22-00355
View details for PubMedID 36971752
Real Change or Performative Anti-Racism? Clinical Psychology Programs' Efforts to Recruit and Retain BIPOC Scholars.
Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53
This study assessed perceptions of Clinical Psychology doctoral programs' efforts to recruit and retain faculty and graduate students of color, as well as differences in perceptions based on participants' position within their program (i.e. graduate student versus faculty) and race.Participants (n = 297; 35% people of color; 79% female; mean age: 32) were graduate students and faculty from Clinical Psychology doctoral programs who completed an anonymous online survey about their programs' efforts to recruit and retain graduate students and faculty of color; sense of belonging and perceptions of racial discrimination within programs; and experiences of cultural taxation and racism within programs.Faculty (n = 95) reported significantly greater perceptions of recruitment and retention efforts and fewer perceptions of racial discrimination than did graduate students (n = 202). Asian (n = 31), Black (n = 25), and Latinx (n = 35) participants reported significantly fewer perceptions of recruitment and retention efforts, less sense of belonging, and greater perceptions of racial discrimination than did White participants (n = 192). Cultural taxation was common among participants of color, and approximately half (47%) reported they have considered leaving academia - and approximately one third (31%) have considered leaving their program - due to experiences of racism in their program or field.Cultural taxation and racial discrimination were common among scholars of color in this sample. Whether intentional or not, these experiences contribute to racially-toxic environments and negatively impact the racial diversity of the mental health workforce.
View details for DOI 10.1080/15374416.2023.2203930
View details for PubMedID 37195881
Psychology's Contributions to Anti-Blackness in the United States Within Psychological Research, Criminal Justice, and Mental Health.
Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
The mass incarceration of Black people in the United States is gaining attention as a public-health crisis with extreme mental-health implications. Although it is well documented that historical efforts to oppress and control Black people in the United States helped shape definitions of mental illness and crime, many psychologists are unaware of the ways the field has contributed to the conception and perpetuation of anti-Blackness and, consequently, the mass incarceration of Black people. In this article, we draw from existing theory and empirical evidence to demonstrate historical and contemporary examples of psychology's oppression of Black people through research and clinical practices and consider how this history directly contradicts the American Psychological Association's ethics code. First, we outline how anti-Blackness informed the history of psychological diagnoses and research. Next, we discuss how contemporary systems of forensic practice and police involvement in mental-health-crisis response maintain historical harm. Specific recommendations highlight strategies for interrupting the criminalization of Blackness and offer example steps psychologists can take to redefine psychology's relationship with justice. We conclude by calling on psychologists to recognize their unique power and responsibility to interrupt the criminalization and pathologizing of Blackness as researchers and mental-health providers.
View details for DOI 10.1177/17456916221141374
View details for PubMedID 36753574
Interactive associations between abstinence plans and romantic partner conflict and support with cigarette smoking
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2022.109756
Combating the Conspiracy of Silence: Clinician Recommendations for Talking About Racism-Related Events With Youth of Color.
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
2022; 61 (5): 586-590
Graphic videos of race-based violence, including police brutality toward Black people and anti-Asian hate crimes, have exploded over the past year. While documentation of these horrific acts has brought visibility to the pervasiveness of racial discrimination, it has also resulted in youth of color being exposed to racial stressors more than ever before across numerous social media and news platforms.1-3 Beyond the significant race-related stress already experienced by youth in school contexts,4 this increased exposure to racism via media is concerning, as both direct and vicarious exposure to racial discrimination can compromise psychological well-being of youth and cause trauma-like symptoms, such as intrusive thoughts, vigilance, and depression.3,5.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaac.2022.01.001
View details for PubMedID 35026407
The effect of alcohol on mood among males drinking with a platonic friend
ALCOHOLISM-CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH
Despite the social nature of most drinking experiences, prior work has largely failed to incorporate social context into the study of alcohol's effects on emotion. The present study provides an initial test of the effect of alcohol on mood among platonic friends drinking together in a non-stress setting. We hypothesized that subjects would report more positive postdrink mood after consuming alcohol than after consuming a nonalcoholic control beverage.Dyads of platonic male friends (n = 36; 55.55% White, 38.88% Asian, 5.55% Black) attended two laboratory-based experimental sessions, wherein their drink conditions (alcohol vs. no alcohol control) were randomized by dyad and counter-balanced across sessions. They reported their mood before and after consuming their beverages together, using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule and an 8-item mood measure.As hypothesized, alcohol enhanced positive mood ( β = 0.26, p < 0.01). Although in the expected direction, the effect of alcohol on negative mood was not significant ( β = -0.12, p = 0.17). Post hoc analyses revealed that alcohol yielded greater increases in both stimulation ( β = 0.26 , p = 0.00) and sedation ( β = 0.40 , p = 0.00) as compared to the control condition.This study highlights the positive mood-enhancing and broader subjective effects of alcohol when drinking with a platonic friend and encourages further consideration of friendship contexts in the examination of alcohol's effects when developing models of the etiology of alcohol use disorder.
View details for DOI 10.1111/acer.14682
View details for Web of Science ID 000686551800001
View details for PubMedID 34342007
- In the Eye of the Beholder: A Comprehensive Analysis of Stimulus Type, Perceiver, and Target in Physical Attractiveness Perceptions JOURNAL OF NONVERBAL BEHAVIOR 2021; 45 (2): 241-259
- Editorial: A Call to Action for an Antiracist Clinical Science JOURNAL OF CLINICAL CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOLOGY 2021; 50 (1): 12-57
Pleasant olfactory cues can reduce cigarette craving.
Journal of Abnormal Psychology
2019; 128 (4)
View details for DOI 10.1037/abn0000431
Using Placebo Beverages in Group Alcohol Studies
ALCOHOLISM-CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH
2018; 42 (12): 2442-2452
Placebo beverage conditions remain a key element in the methodological toolkit for alcohol researchers interested in evaluating pharmacological and nonpharmacological factors influencing the effects of alcohol consumption. While interest in experimentally examining alcohol in social context is on the rise, there has been little research examining the effectiveness of placebo manipulations in group settings, when just 1 suspicious participant could potentially jeopardize the effect of the placebo on group members. Moreover, research has rarely considered the association between individual difference factors (e.g., gender) and placebo manipulation effectiveness. The present study, using an uncommonly large sample of placebo-consuming participants, was well suited to investigate fundamental questions regarding placebo efficacy that have not been assessed previously. Specifically, we aimed to examine placebo efficacy and general processes of placebo functioning in a group context. We also assessed potential associations between a variety of individual difference factors and placebo response.A total of 240 participants (50% male) consumed placebo beverages during a triadic drinking period (across 80 three-person groups). Participants reported their subjective intoxication, stimulation, and sedation 8 minutes following drink consumption and estimated the alcohol content of their drink at the end of the study.Participants consuming placebo beverages in groups were nearly universal in reporting that they had consumed alcohol (>99%) and had experienced an increase in feelings of intoxication [t(239) = 22.03, p < 0.001] and stimulation [t(239) = 5.53, p < 0.001], levels that were similar to those observed in prior studies conducted with participants drinking placebos in isolation. Further, participants' placebo responses were independent of their 2 group members and were largely unaffected by a variety of individual difference factors.Placebo response generally operated independently of group-member influences, suggesting that researchers can successfully conduct placebo beverage studies utilizing group drinking designs.
View details for DOI 10.1111/acer.13895
View details for Web of Science ID 000456922700016
View details for PubMedID 30247751
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6286248
Perception of physical attractiveness when consuming and not consuming alcohol: a meta-analysis
2018; 113 (9): 1585-1597
Elucidating why people drink and why drinking can lead to negative psychosocial consequences remains a crucial task for alcohol researchers. Because drinking occurs typically in social settings, broader investigation of the associations between alcohol and social experience is needed to advance understanding of both the rewarding and hazardous effects of alcohol use. This review aimed to (a) estimate alcohol's relation to the perception of others' physical attractiveness and (b) suggest theoretical and methodological considerations that may advance the study of this topic.Systematic review of Scopus and PsycInfo databases was conducted to identify experimental and quasi-experimental studies, with either between- or within-subjects designs, that assessed attractiveness ratings provided by individuals who had and had not consumed alcohol (k = 16 studies, n = 1811). A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate alcohol's aggregate association with physical attractiveness perceptions. Separate a priori secondary analyses examined alcohol's associations with perception of opposite-sex (k = 12 studies) and same-sex (k = 7 studies) attractiveness.The primary analysis indicated that alcohol was related significantly to enhanced attractiveness perceptions [d = 0.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.05-0.32, P = 0.01; I2 = 5.28, 95% CI = 0.00-39.32]. Analysis of alcohol's association with perception of opposite-sex attractiveness similarly yielded a small, significant positive association (d = 0.30, 95% CI = 0.16-0.44, P < 0.01; I2 = 17.49, 95% CI = 0.00-57.75). Alcohol's relation to perception of same-sex attractiveness was not significant (d = 0.04, 95% CI = -0.18 to 0.26, P = 0.71; I2 = 54.08, 95% CI = 0.00-81.66).Experimental and quasi-experimental studies suggest that consuming alcohol may have a small effect of increasing perceived attractiveness of people of the opposite sex.
View details for DOI 10.1111/add.14227
View details for Web of Science ID 000440644200003
View details for PubMedID 29660184
Predictors of At-Risk Intoxication in a University Field Setting: Social Anxiety, Demographics, and Intentions
JOURNAL OF AMERICAN COLLEGE HEALTH
2015; 63 (2): 134-142
The determinants of alcohol consumption among university students were investigated in a downtown field setting with blood alcohol content (BAC) as the dependent variable.In total, 521 participants completed a brief survey and had their BAC assessed during April 2013.Between 10:00 pm and 2:00 am, teams of researchers recruited passersby at 3 heavy-drinking locations near a university campus. Before the BAC assessment, participants completed a questionnaire regarding their drinking intentions, drinking group, and social anxiety.The average BAC of drinking students was 0.107 g/dL, which was 0.033 g/dL higher than their intended BAC. Males and members of a Greek-life organization consumed significantly more alcohol than their demographic counterparts. A significant positive curvilinear relationship was observed between social anxiety and BAC.University students achieve high levels of intoxication, often exceeding their intended BAC. Social anxiety may be an informative predictor of alcohol consumption in this setting.
View details for DOI 10.1080/07448481.2014.990968
View details for Web of Science ID 000349538500002
View details for PubMedID 25437018