Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Tammy Tam, PhD


Tammy W. Tam, PhD, is a scientist at PHI's Alcohol Research Group (ARG). Her areas of interest include research methodology, alcohol and drug problem epidemiology, and substance abuse treatment access and utilization.

Using multi-level modeling of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, Tam's work examines the impact of individual and state contextual factors on variations by state in substance abuse treatment needs, treatment utilization and treatment gaps. Her other work has assessed: problem drinkers' use of social services in different health care settings; the risks of simultaneous alcohol and drug use; and alcohol problems among special populations, including Asian Americans and homeless individuals.

Her methodological work includes considerations of screening in national alcohol surveys, bias in community-based substance abuse prevalence estimates, and risk functions for alcohol-related problems.

Tam has a doctorate in education with a specialization in social research methodology from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Multi-Level Analyses to Explain Substance Abuse Treatment Gaps

Using secondary data analyses of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) and the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey (NLAES), this project studies the interaction of individual factors with societal and health system factors (such as state policies, public financing, health system organization and area socioeconomic characteristics) on state variations in substance abuse treatment needs and utilization.

Preventive Physical and Oral Health Care Utilization Use between Mother and Child in Low-Income Populations

In support of Oakland Children’s Hospital & Research Center, PHI will examine California Health Interview Survey data to determine whether there is an association between the services (primary and oral health care) that parents obtained for themselves and those that they obtained for their children while controlling for predisposing, enabling, and need factors.

Testing Medical Marijuana's Unintended Consequences for Youth and Young Adults

This project will investigate if medical marijuana laws affect drug-related attitudes, consumption and problems among adolescents and young adults. Analyses will draw upon data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health with original data collection on the passage and characteristics of state medical marijuana legislations, state political views, and organization of state alcohol and drug treatment systems.