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Program

National Alcohol Research Center

The National Alcohol Research Center, housed within PHI's Alcohol Research Group, is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The Center's research focuses on the epidemiology of alcohol problems. The Center, now in its 32nd year, is funded through 2015. Tom Greenfield, PhD, is scientific director, providing scientific oversight while working with associate directors Lee Ann Kaskutas, DrPH, and Cheryl Cherpitel, DrPH, to assure coherence and scientific vision.

Program Director(s)

Thomas Greenfield

Program Site

http://www.arg.org/

Projects

Disparities in Alcohol Problems

This National Alcohol Research Center project investigates how race/ethnicity and socioeconomic disadvantage are related to current and lifespan patterns of alcohol use and problems. Critical gaps in knowledge will be addressed, with a special focus on how a severe economic recession may exacerbate drinking problems in already disadvantaged groups. Findings will help to inform efforts to reduce alcohol-related disparities by identifying particularly acute forms of disadvantage, protective factors that mitigate their impact, and high-priority populations that need to be reached during an economic recession.   

Epidemiological Analyses of the National Alcohol Survey

This National Alcohol Research Center project conducts analyses of National Alcohol Survey data that provide new findings of great public health significance on risk factors for numerous alcohol-related social and health harms such as alcohol dependence, injuries, drunk driving and alcohol’s harm to others besides the drinker.  We are now analyzing geo-referenced contextual data to reveal roles of culture, socio-economic conditions and neigborhood factors.

National Alcohol Research Center Administrative Core

This administrative core provides support for principal investigator Thomas Greenfield, PhD, who manages the center. The core also supports the center's two associate directors, Cheryl Cherpitel, DrPH, and Lee Ann Kaskutas, DrPH. Kaskutas directs training and is multiple PI of the T32 training grant. Cherpitel encourages and supports collaborative research partnerships with other centers and research organizations. Sarah Zemore, PhD, leads an enrichment speakers program, which brings renowned scientists to ARG to present their new research. She also serves as multiple PI of the T32 training grant.

National Alcohol Research Center Methodological Studies

This research component of the National Alcohol Research Center involves three distinct and innovative methodological sub-studies. The three studies are described separately and are led by Cheryl Cherpitel, Thomas Greenfield and Madhabika Nayak.

 

National Alcohol Research Center Methodological Studies -- Study 1

This National Alcohol Research Center project is one of three distinct and innovative methodological sub-studies. It analyzes data from wireless and landline telephone samples in the most recent National Alcohol Survey. By 2015 the mobile-only population is projected to amount to 30 percent of US adults, so it is critical to reach this group for valid results. 

National Alcohol Research Center Methodological Studies -- Study 2

This National Alcohol Research Center project, one of three distinct and innovative methodological sub-studies, focuses on analysis of biases from case-crossover studies on the relative risk of injury and alcohol and alcohol-attributable fraction (AAF) in cross-national emergency room studies. Innovative methods are being pioneered to improve alcohol-injury estimates, addressing key confounders.  

National Alcohol Research Center Methodological Studies -- Study 3

This National Alcohol Research Center project is one of three methodological sub-studies that examines the item functioning of a widely used alcohol use disorder screening test, the AUDIT, in a large cross-national dataset including the US so as to offer improved alcohol screening and measurement guidelines both globally and in the US.  

 

National Alcohol Research Center Pilot Studies

The National Alcohol Research Center project provides funding for new investigators to conduct pilot studies with preliminary data for independent grant applications.  Three pilot studies have been funded to date. Awardees include Madhabika Nayak, Kate Karriker-Jaffe, and Priscilla Martinez.  Additional funding will be made available in future years of the award.

 

National Alcohol Research Center Pilot Studies: Pilot 1: Kiosk-Based Prenantal Screening and Intervention for Nutrition and Drinking

This National Alcohol Research Center pilot study involves creating and testing a user friendly intervention kiosk placed in a WIC clinic to accurately assess intake of consumption of alcohol and sweetened beverages during pregnancy and provide related feedback to the clients.  Lee Ann Kaskutas is pilot mentor.

 

National Alcohol Research Center Pilot Studies: Pilot 2: Improving Measures of Alcohol Dependence for General Population Studies

This National Alcohol Research Center pilot study is examining symptom frequency, severity and impact to improve validity of dependence classification for young heavy drinkers, which will benefit screening and referral to services and help guide interventions.  Tom Greenfield is pilot mentor.

 

National Alcohol Research Center Pilot Studies: Pilot 3: Alcohol Use Disorders, Psychological Distress and Immune Function

This National Alcohol Research Center pilot study observes and examines the associations between immune function, alcohol use disorders and psychological distress in a sample of alcohol and drug abusers in treatment in Norway. Results will improve our understanding of the biological links between alcohol use disorders and psychological distress. Sarah Zemore is pilot mentor.

National Alcohol Research Center Pilot Studies: Pilot 4: Discrimination and Treatment Disparities

This National Alcohol Research Center pilot study is developing a better understanding of the relationship between experiences of discrimination and alcohol services use, including specialty treatment and 12-step groups. Findings will clarify the discrimination’s effects on use of alcohol services, and may identify leverage points for interventions to increase alcohol treatment. Sarah Zemore serves as pilot mentor.

 

National Alcohol Research Center Pilot Studies: Pilot 5: Socioeconomic Status and Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment ... in Young Adulthood

In collaboration with Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, this National Alcohol Research Center pilot study is examining the role of socioeconomic status across key phases of alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse treatment in adolescence and post-treatment AOD behaviors in young adulthood. Findings will identify ways to improve current interventions and policies that reduce disparities in AOD treatment among adolescents and young adults. Nina Mulia and Doug Polcin serve as co-mentors for this study.

National Alcohol Research Center Statistical and Data Services

The aims of this core project include providing biostatistical consulting and analysis services to the National Alcohol Research Center staff, setting up and implementing a series of instructional courses aimed at increasing the methodological sophistication of researchers and analysts, and providing a range of database services to the Center. 

National Alcohol Survey Resources

The aims of this core project of the National Alcohol Research Center include conducting and managing the National Alcohol Survey (NAS) undertaken every five years, with highly similar questions over the past 30 years. The 2009-10 NAS was the 12th in the series, a dual-frame landline and cell phone survey of nearly 8,000 US adults. The 13th in the series is currently being planned; it is scheduled for 2014-15.  The NAS data are vital for tracking US alcohol intake patterns and problems.