Dr. Angela Stevens is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS) in Brown University’s School of Public Health. Broadly, her primary research program seeks to understand complex substance use as it naturally occurs. Angela’s previous research has included identifying fine-grained etiological risk factors of young adult substance use (e.g., impulsivity, motives for use), with a recent focus on simultaneous use. The aim of this research is to inform mobile health interventions, such as ecological momentary interventions or just-in-time adapative interventions.
Angela’s secondary research area involves studying psychological measurement more broadly by using cutting-edge techniques to evaluate and improve upon existing measures, with a particular focus on measurement invariance.
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PhD in Clinical Psychology, 2019
Texas Tech University
Graduate Certificate in Psychological Methods and Analysis, 2019
Texas Tech University
MPH in Health Behavior, 2012
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Objective: Heavy episodic drinking (HED) and high-intensity drinking (HID) are common in young adulthood but pose unique risks. Quantitative studies have used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and the Prototype-Willingness Model (PWM) to understand decision-making processes underlying alcohol misuse. However, our understanding of intentions (plans) and willingness (openness) for HED/HID is in its nascent stages. This study represents the first qualitative examination of relationships between intentions and willingness to engage in HED/HID. Method: We conducted individual interviews among 28 young adult high-intensity drinkers (12 male, 15 female, 1 trans male; Mage = 23 years). Interviews focused on HED/HID events with open-ended questions examining: (a) variability in intentions/willingness by occasion and within a drinking event; (b) formation of intentions for consumption and/or intoxication; and (c) interplay of willingness and intentions on heavy drinking nights. Verbatim transcripts were coded within NVivo software and content was analyzed using applied thematic analysis. Results: Participants described intentions and willingness as varying by occasion and perceived their shifting across a drinking event. Intentions for heavy drinking reflected a desired level of intoxication, rather than a specific number of drinks. Willingness, rather than intentions, to engage in heavy drinking/HID was more evident. Conclusions: Findings have significant implications for future measurement work in this area. There may be value in assessing intentions and willingness multiple times per day and during the drinking event itself. We also recommend that intentions for both consumption and intoxication levels be assessed, particularly in studies aiming to examine impaired control.
Background: Alcohol and marijuana/cannabis are frequently used simultaneously (i.e., SAM use). SAM use is complex, and the ways in which alcohol and cannabis are simultaneously used may reveal differential effects. The purpose of this study was to examine day-level effects of distinct alcohol and cannabis product combinations on simultaneous use and consequences on that day. Methods: College student SAM users (N = 274; 50% women; Mage = 19.82 years) were recruited to complete 54 days of data collection, including 5 repeated daily surveys each day. We identified 12 distinct product combinations reported during SAM-use days. We tested 4 reference groups, with one reflecting the most common use pattern and 3 potentially risky use patterns. We considered 3 outcomes (negative consequences, number of drinks, and number of cannabis uses) and used generalized linear mixed-effects models disentangling within- from between-person effects in all analyses. Results: Using multiple products (≥2) of alcohol was consistently linked to higher odds of experiencing a negative consequence. Combining beer with only one cannabis product (leaf or concentrate) was consistently associated with lower odds of a consequence. Combining cannabis with multiple alcohol products was associated with heavier alcohol consumption. Using dual cannabis products also was associated with heavier cannabis consumption, but this pattern was not significantly different than using concentrate only on a given day. Conclusion: This is the first study to examine day-level influences of distinct alcohol and cannabis product combinations on consumption and consequences among young adult SAM users. Findings suggest that mixing alcohol products confers greater risk for negative consequences and heavier consumption, whereas there is little difference in cannabis consumption when using concentrate only vs. 2 cannabis products on a given day, except for concentrate + beer. Our findings support existing protective strategies of not mixing alcohol products and avoiding use of cannabis concentrate for SAM use as well.