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Behavioral Therapies Development Program - Career Development Awards

Scientist Development Award (K21)

Reducing HIV Risk Behaviors in IV Drug Users

Avants, S. Kelly; Yale University

This Scientist Development Award (K21) outlines a five-year program of training and research in substance abuse with a focus on treatment development for HIV-positive intravenous drug abusers. Dr. Avant is a health psychologist and junior faculty member at Yale University, whose primary preceptor is Bruce Rounsaville, M.D., an established researcher with an outstanding record of mentoring research scientists. Other preceptors include Kathleen Carroll, Ph.D., Edward Kaplan, Ph.D., Thomas Kosten, M.D., Richard Schottenfeld, M.D., and Peter Selwyn, M.D., all established investigators in the field of substance abuse and AIDS.

The research plan has three parts: (a) an assessment study examining methadone patients' high-risk attitudes and behaviors from a Health Belief Model perspective; (b) a retrospective matching study in which the differential efficacy of standard Coping Skills Training, alone or in combination with pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments, will be investigated for reducing high risk behaviors in methadone patients, using HIV status as a matching variable; and a Stage I behavioral therapies project, in response to PA-94-078, in which Risk Reduction Therapy (RRT) will be developed and evaluated. RRT is a modified coping skills training approach to HIV risk reduction adapted to meet the special needs of HIV-positive drug abusers through inclusion of cognitive remediation strategies and attention to the medical and emotional needs of this patient population. The career development plan includes formal course work and mentoring in psychotherapy development and process research, biostatistics, chronic disease and HIV/AIDS epidemiology, and neuropharmacology.

Cognitive Intervention for Drug Abusing Adolescents

Latimer, William; University of Minnesota

Upwards of 70 percent of adolescents with drug abuse disorders also suffer from learning disabilities which substantially increase the risk for a variety of adverse outcomes, including heightened chemical dependency and psychological disturbance, school dropout, delinquency, and imprisonment (Karacostas & Fisher, 1993). The career development and research plan address two primary aims geared toward the reduction of drug-related morbidity and mortality among adolescents: (a) identify protective factors fostering resiliency among drug abusing adolescents with learning disorders; and (b) complete the development of a cognitive strategy intervention for drug abusing youth that is informed by factors promoting resiliency.

The Career Development Plan is comprised of activities organized under five distinct headings: (1) mentorship; (2) research meetings; (3) expert panel meetings on drug abuse and learning disorders; (4) specialized training; and (5) professional meetings in order to accomplish the following objectives: (a) incorporate into research an understanding of adolescent drug abuse focusing on relationships between risk and protective factors, client characteristics, treatment factors, and treatment outcome; (b) integrate research and theory in the areas of adolescent drug abuse and learning disorders to analyze drug abuse research problems; (c) identify and assess the extent to which risk factors diminish and protective factors promote abstinence and prosocial behaviors among drug abuse recovering adolescents; (d) evaluate residential and school-based interventions that promote abstinence and academic achievement among drug abuse recovering adolescents; (e) demonstrate understanding of research designs and related sampling methodologies; measurement theory and methods; data management skills; and advanced multivariate analytic techniques; (f) apply design and statistical analysis competencies in the planning, implementation, and analysis of research; (g) submit two grants over the five year award period on resiliency and intervention development projects for drug abusing adolescents.

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