Past research

Narrative Exposure Treatment: Integrating an evidence-based trauma intervention with residential substance abuse treatment for adolescents (TOWER-NET)

The objective of this 3-year project was to bring evidence-based trauma intervention to substance abuse residential treatment for adolescents with substance use problems. The grant provided training in Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) to treatment staff at Buffalo’s Renaissance House, a residential treatment facility. Our study examined training and implementation outcomes for NET, as well as substance use and trauma-related outcomes for 50 adolescents treated by Renaissance House staff.

This study was conducted in collaboration with co-PI Susan Zannoni, and funded by the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation.

Consequences of Marijuana Study (CMS)

Dr. Read is part of the Cross-Cultural Alcohol Study Team, which comprises of a team of researchers with different areas of alcohol expertise from 3 nations (Argentina, Spain, and the United States). With this group, Dr. Read was involved in a multi-site study (CMS) examining marijuana and alcohol use, attitudes, and measures as they occur across various cultures. This two-part study (i.e., baseline: Fall 2017; follow-up: Spring 2018) tested the longitudinal effects of specific risk/protective factors on marijuana use and negative consequences across four universities. Dr. Adrian Bravo ( was the lead investigator of this study.

Life Experiences and Health Behaviors in Young Adulthood

The purpose of this study was to understand the association between college students’ life experiences- particularly stressful or upsetting life experiences- and health behaviors such as physical exercise and substance use. The results of this study were helped further our understanding of how people who have experienced a variety of life events engage in different kinds of health behaviors.

Project STAR (Study of Teen Alcohol Risk)

The purpose of the proposed study was to test the efficacy of a two-item question screening measure to identify risk for alcohol-related problems in a sample of adolescents admitted for acute psychiatric care at Erie County Medical Center. Further, this study sought to determine how risk may relate to psychological distress and other health-related behaviors.

Alcohol Information Processing Following Experiential Exposure

In two separate studies, this research sought to examine causal pathways through which PTSD and trauma cues affect alcohol-related information processing in college students. Both studies examined the impact of trauma cue exposure on alcohol-related cognitions. The first study evaluated the impact of trauma cue exposure and PTSD on interference in processing alcohol-related information, using a modified Stroop task. The second study evaluated the impact of cue exposure and PTSD on the evaluation (positive or negative associations) of alcohol-related information, using an implicit association test. This study was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Life Experiences Assessment Project (LEAP)

The LEAP study was designed to offer information about how life experiences and psychological reactions to these experiences may interact with the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other substances. We were interested in young adults, transitioning from high school to college. Findings from this study assisted us and other researchers and therapists to develop more effective preventive interventions for substance use in college students as well as address some questions about the influence of life experiences and their consequences on college drop-outs.

Pre-Gaming Studies

Katrina Bytschkow ran a series of Pre-gaming studies during 2008 and 2009. The first was a focus group study that gathered general information about pre-gaming (the practice of consuming alcohol before going out for the night or before a function starts) including motives for the practice. Based on the data collected during those focus group sessions a group of motives were collected and assessed. The next study, which served as Katrina’s senior honors thesis, was the development of a pre-gaming motives measure and an assessment of pre-gaming’s associations with drinking.