Psychology Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Project PHARM (Personalized Health Assessment Related to Medications)

To find out about this 499 opportunity contact:

Contact name: Nicole Fossos-Wong
Telephone: (206) 685-1499

Faculty Information

Faculty Advisor: Mary Larimer
Professor, Psychology and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Department: Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Office: 45th St Plaza - 312
Telephone: (206) 543-3513

Does faculty advisor meet with students?

If yes, how often? Quarterly

Direct supervisor of students:

Nicole Fossos-Wong and Krista Dashtestani
Supervisor Title: Project Manager
Will 499 students participate in weekly or biweekly discussions sessions about research or project? Yes

Short Project Description

Project PHARM represents a program of research aimed at understanding and preventing/reducing prescription stimulant medication (PSM) misuse among college students. Up to 36% of college students have engaged in PSM misuse and this is linked with increased consequences, including health consequences, reduced GPAs and class attendance, and comorbid use of other substances. Research indicates several key reasons students turn to PSM such as to increase academic performance and energy and regulate the effects of other drugs. However, no prevention campaigns or interventions have been developed or tested for PSM misuse among college students. The broad, long-term objective of this research is to reduce the prevalence of PSM misuse among college students, through development and testing of efficacious and cost- effective personalized feedback interventions (PFI’s) targeting college students’ perceived benefits of PSM, normative perceptions of PSM, and increasing alternative behaviors, thereby reducing PSM and other substance use (specifically marijuana and alcohol). The current research builds on our prior work on risk factors, consequences, motives, norms perceptions and benefits of PSM and development of PFI approaches for alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use. This is a 3 campus collaborative with University of Washington, Maryland, and SUNY Albany. Research indicates brief, web-based and in-person PFI’s targeting a wide variety of substances and conditions, including accurate norms feedback, beliefs and perceptions feedback, and alternative strategies, are efficacious in reducing symptoms, correcting norms, and reducing substance use in a vulnerable population (college students). The current study extends this work by developing and testing an innovative PFI developed specifically to target student PSM misuse. Specific aims are: 1) Establish norms of PSM for use in the PFI and solicit feedback on intervention components; 2) Develop and test efficacy of a web-based PFI to reduce PSM misuse, as well as alcohol and marijuana use, among college students at 6 and 12 month follow-ups. Evaluate normative perceptions, PSM-related beliefs, and alternative behaviors as mediators of intervention efficacy as well as motives for use and demographic variables as moderators; and 3) Compare efficacy, mediators, and moderators of the web-based PFI versus an in-person MI-based PFI versus control in reducing use and consequences of PSM, alcohol and marijuana among students seeking services at Counseling and Health Centers.

Work Schedule

Min. number of hours/weekstudent must work: 6
Evenings/weekends OK? No
Times a student must bepresent/work: Hours must be scheduled to fall between 9:00am-4:00pm Monday-Thursday.
Student commitment: 2 quarter commitment (preferred)

499 Responsibilities

Working with Data Working with Subjects Working with Animals/physiology
10 % data entry % video taping % animal care
10 % database management % interview subjects % animal observation
% encoding data 10 % scheduling appt % surgical techniques
20 % library research % running subjects % histology
% data collection % child care % laboratory protocols
    50 % recruiting subjects    

Other:Assisting with IRB modifications and related materials, helping to create/update data codebook, opportunity to present research findings at the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium

Skills / Experience Preferred

Human Subjects Protections Training (preferred), ability to communicate over the phone effectively and comfort making phone calls to participants (required), Microsoft Office Suite, UW Library Database System, 2 quarter commitment (preferred)