Genes, Environment, and Youth Development (Su)
Integrating developmental psychopathology and statistical/molecular genetics, we seek to understand how genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of alcohol use disorders and related behavioral and emotional health outcomes in diverse populations.
We are interested in:
1) understanding how family processes and sociocultural factors may buffer or exacerbate genetic risk for the development of risky substance use patterns across development, particularly during adolescence and young adulthood,
2) disentangling the genetic and psychosocial pathways underlying the intergenerational transmission of risk and resilience related to substance use disorders and related outcomes, and
3) examining potential differences in pathways of risk and resilience across racial/ethnic groups.
Our goal is to understand how genetic and psychosocial factors predict substance misuse to better inform effective, personalized prevention and intervention for individuals who are at risk.
The Pathways to College Health Study is a longitudinal study that involves collecting online surveys (questionnaire and daily diary) and DNA data from European American and Latino college students at ASU. The goal for this study is to examine how family and cultural processes (and other relevant environmental factors) in conjunction with genetic factors contribute to alcohol use and related behavioral and emotional outcomes throughout college years. This study was launched in Fall 2020 and data collection is ongoing.
In addition, our lab has access to data from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) and the Spit for Science Study (S4S) through active collaborations with COGA and S4S investigators.
We also conduct secondary data analysis of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, with data access granted by the NIMH Data Archives.
Dr. Su is NOT accepting new Ph.D. students for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Lab Director and Principal Investigator: Jinni Su, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Su is a member of the developmental psychology faculty. Her research focuses on how genetic and environmental influences contribute to the development of substance use and related behavioral and emotional health outcomes. Integrating developmental psychology and statistical/molecular genetics, Dr. Su utilizes a multidisciplinary perspective to understand the interplay between genetic predispositions and psychosocial factors in influencing substance use and related outcomes across diverse populations, with a focus on racial/ethnic minority adolescents and young adults. She applies innovative genetically informed designs to examine the genetic and psychosocial pathways underlying the intergenerational transmission of substance use disorders and related outcomes. Dr. Su also examines potential differences in pathways of risk and resilience across racial/ethnic groups, with the goal to understand mechanisms underlying racial/ethnic disparities in substance use disorders and related health outcomes and inform effective, personalized prevention and intervention efforts. Her research involves self-report data from surveys and interviews and genomic data collected from saliva or blood samples. Dr. Su received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Beijing Normal University, China. She completed her master’s and doctoral degrees in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Su continued as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University under the mentorship of Dr. Danielle Dick.
Angel D. Trevino
Angel is a third-year Ph.D. student in Developmental Psychology. He is interested in studying the pathways through which individual differences, genes, and environmental factors lead to the development of psychopathology in youth. He is particularly interested in how cultural processes interplay with genetic influences on youth outcomes. Outside of the lab, Angel enjoys spending time with his family and dogs.
Belal is in his 2nd year of the Developmental Psych PhD program. He has a particular interest in understanding how familial, genetic, and cultural processes influence mental health (e.g., substance use, depression, anxiety) in adolescence and young adulthood, particularly for ethnic minority populations. In his free time, Belal likes to draw, play video games, and cook.
Marilyn is a junior majoring in psychology and minoring in fashion, and she will be graduating in May of 2024. She is interested in pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology. Marilyn is currently interested in child development research, more specifically the protective factors of substance use. In addition to the Genetics, Environment, Youth and Development lab, Marilyn is the after-school coordinator of a preschool where she is able to work one-on-one with children ages 3-6. In her free time, she enjoys working out, hanging out with family and friends, and cooking.
Undergraduate Research Assistants:
Chiara is a junior majoring in biological sciences (biomedical science focus) and minoring in psychology and will be graduating in May of 2024. She is interested in the way genes and environment can impact outcomes, specifically in terms of the development of children and their behaviors. She hopes to attend medical school to become a pediatrician and apply her knowledge of child development to her work. Chiara loves playing soccer and spending time with friends and family in her free time.
Mariam is a senior majoring in biological sciences (neurobiology, physiology, and behavior) and global health. She is interested in pursuing a career in healthcare and sees herself working with underserved communities as a physician. Her research interests include the intersections between genes and youth development and how various components influence the development of substance use disorders in minority communities. In her free time, Mariam enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family.
Catalina Amurrio Zamora
Catalina is a junior majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in French and she will be graduating in May of 2024. She is interested in pursuing a medical career. Currently, she is interested in pediatrics as well as the development of different behaviors due to the genetics in children. In her free time she enjoys playing the violin, traveling and hanging out with friends and family.
Avery is a Senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Philosophy and Political Science. He will be graduating in May of 2023, and plans to pursue a PhD in Psychology. Avery is currently interested in studying how the environmental factor of raising children with developmental conditions interacts with the genetics of their parents. His perfect day off involves spending time in nature with a good book and better company.
Abdullah is a sophomore majoring in neuroscience and he will be graduating in 2025. He is fascinated by behavioral psychology where his research interests include the causes of different developmental and behavioral outcomes for individuals within a certain environment. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in a specific area of neuroscience or psychology in the future. Outside of academics, Abdullah enjoys playing basketball, running, and reading.
Valerie is a senior and will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is interested in working with adolescents and hopes to attain a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the future. Her plans after graduation are to return to her hometown in Singapore and gain experience in the field through internships and/or volunteer work before applying to a master's program. She is an avid reader and spends her spare time playing video games with her siblings.
Hannah is a junior majoring in psychology and minoring in Spanish, and will be graduating in May of 2024. Her plans after undergrad are to pursue a Masters in Social Work, and then a PhD in clinical psychology. She is currently interested in child development research, and understanding how the environment and genes can play a role. In her free time she enjoys reading and cuddling up with her cat Luna.
Kathleen is in her first year of her Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology. She graduated ASU in December 2019 with a Bachelor's Degree in Forensic Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. She is interested in pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Kathleen is interested in working in the criminal justice system and the legal aspects of Psychology. In addition to the Genetics, Enviornment, Youth and Development lab, Kathleen is a Program Coordinator with a local behavioral health agency where she mentors youth and adults with history of sexual trauma, sex trafficking, and domestic violence. In her free time Kathleen enjoys taking her dogs for long walks and binge watching the most recent crime stories.
Ashlynn Rooney (no picture)
Ashlynn graduated from ASU in May of 2022 with a B.S in psychology as well as a B.S in family and human development and intends to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology. Ashlynn has a passion for advocacy within the community and has spent time as a Crisis Intervention Counselor through CARE 7, as well as assisted and taught psychology to inmates at both Florence and Perryville Prisons. Her research interests address using a psychosocial lens to explore the roles of environmental and genetic influences on inherited youth traumatic experiences specifically relating to alcohol and substance use disorders. Outside of the lab, Ashlynn enjoys hiking, traveling, and finding new local coffee shops.
Madeline is a senior majoring in psychology and minoring in family and human development, and she will be graduating in May of 2023. She is interested in pursuing a masters in clinical psychology. She is currently interested in child development research and the effect of mental disorders on a student's experience in education. She has a passion for swimming and can be found in the pool most days of the week. If not in the water, she also likes to pass time sewing and drawing.
Ian McNamara, Psychology (Fall 2019 – Spring 2022; Graduated May 2021); Former lab coordinator, currently Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at University of Missouri at St Louis.
Valeria Perez, Biological Sciences and Global Health (Fall 2020 – Spring 2022)
Isobel Conroy, Psychology (Spring 2021 – Fall 2021; graduated in December 2021); Honors thesis titled “COVID-19 Related Stress, Mental Health, and Alcohol Use Outcomes among College Students: Examining the Moderating Role of Emotion Regulation”.
Christopher Hernandez, Biology and Society, Global Health, and Transborder Studies (Fall 2019 – Spring 2022; Graduated May 2022); currently student at University of Arizona College of Medicine
Dylan Wang, Biomedical Sciences (Spring 2021 - Fall 2021)
Elizabeth Cheng, Biological Sciences with minor in Psychology (Spring 2021 - 2022 Spring)
Riley McKenna, Biological Sciences and Psychology (2020 summer- 2020 Fall)
Karen Northrop, Business Data Analytics and Psychology (2020 Spring - 2020 Fall)
Mahasin Shigdy, Psychology (2019 Fall - 2020 Fall; Graduated in December 2020)
Derek Soto, Psychology (2019 Fall - 2020 Fall; Graduated in December 2020)
Nicole Taylor, Psychology (2020 Spring - 2020 Fall; Graduated in December 2020); Honor's thesis titled "Depressive Symptoms and Drinking to Cope in Relation to Alcohol Use Outcomes Among European American and African American College Students"; Finalist for the Psychology Department award for Best Undergraduate Research Paper.
Join the Lab!
We are actively recruiting motivated and responsible undergraduate research assistants (RA) to join our lab! Students from underrepresented backgrounds (e.g., racial/ethnic minority, first-generation college students) are strongly encouraged to apply through the ENERGIZE Research Initiative. If you are interested in becoming an RA (for credit or volunteer) in the Genes, Environment, and Youth Development Lab, please fill out this application form and/or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Su is NOT accepting new Ph.D. students for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Below are a sample of recent publications from Dr. Su’s research and lab. A more complete listing may be found in Dr. Su’s curriculum vitae
*undergraduate student co-author; **graduate student co-author
- Su, J., Trevino, A.**, Jamil, B.**, & Aliev, F. (in press). Genetic risk of alcohol use disorders and childhood impulsivity: Examining the role of parenting and family conflict. Invited paper for the Special Issue of Development and Psychopathology entitled “Leveraging Genetically Informative Study Designs to Understand the Development and Familial Transmission of Psychopathology”.
- Su, J., Kuo, S. I., Trevino, A.**, Barr, P., Aliev, F., Bucholz, K, Chan, G., … & Dick, D. M. (2022).Examining social genetic effects on educational attainment via parental educational attainment, income, and parenting. Journal of Family Psychology.
- Su, J., Trevino, A.**, Kuo, S. I., Aliev, F., Williams, C. D., Guy, M. G., The Spit for Science Working Group, & Dick, D. M. (2022). Racial discrimination and alcohol problems: Examining Interactions with Genetic Risk and Impulsivity. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
- Su, J., Conroy, I.*, Trevino, A.**, Zheng, Y., & Kuo, S. I. (2022). COVID-19 related stressors, parent-child relationship, and profiles of alcohol and mental health outcomes among White and Hispanic/Latinx first-year college students. Child Psychiatry & Human Development. doi: 10.1007/s10578-022-01337-4
- Taylor, N. L.*, Su, J., The Spit for Science Working Group, & Dick, D. M. (2022). Depressive symptoms and drinking to cope in relation to alcohol use outcomes among White and Black/African American college students. Substance Use and Misuse. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2022.2034871
- Su, J., Kuo, S. I., Aliev, F., Chan, G., Edenberg, H. J., Kamarajan, C., McCutcheon, V. V., Meyers, J. L., Schuckit, M., Tischfield, J., & Dick, D. M. (2021). The association between polygenic risk, sensation seeking, social support and alcohol use in adulthood. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 130, 525-536. doi: 10.1037/abn0000568.
- Su, J., Seaton, E. K., Williams, C. D., The Spit for Science Working Group, & Dick, D. M. (2021). Racial discrimination, depressive symptoms, ethnic-racial identity and alcohol use among Black American college students. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 35, 523-535. doi: 10.1037/adb0000717.
- Barr, P. B., Ksinan, A., Su, J., Johnson, E. C., Meyers, J. L., Wetherill, L., Latvala, A., Aliev, F., Chan, G., Kuperman, S., Nurnberger, J., Kamarajan, C., Anokhin, A., Agrawal, A., Rose, R. J., Edenberg, H. J., Schuckit, M., Kaprio, J., & Dick, D. M. (2020). Using polygenic scores for identifying individuals at increased risk of substance use disorders in clinical and population samples. Translational psychiatry, 10(1), 196. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-00865-8
- Su, J., Kuo, S. I., Derlan, C. L., Hagiwara, N., Guy, M. C., & Dick, D. M. (2020). Racial discrimination and alcohol problems among African American young adults: Examining the moderating effects of racial socialization by parents and friends. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 26(2), 260–270. https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000294
- Patterson, R. E., Kuchenbaecker, K., Chen, C., Popejoy, A., Walters, R., Periyasamy, S., Lam, M., Iyegbe, C., Strawbridge, R., Brick, L., Carey, C., Martin, A., Meyers, J. L., Su, J., Bigdeli, T. B., Chen, J., Edwards, A. C., Kalungi, A., Koen, N., Majara, L., Schwarz, E., Smoller, J., Sullivan, P., Vassos, E., Mowry, B., Prieto, M., Cuellar-Barboza, A., Edenberg, H., Huang, H., & Duncan, L. E. (2019). Genome-wide association studies in ancestrally diverse populations: Opportunities, methods, pitfalls, and recommendations. Cell. 179, 589-603. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.08.051
- Ksinan, A., Su, J., Aliev, F., The Spit for Science Working Group, & Dick, D. M. (2019). Unpacking genetic risk pathways for college student alcohol consumption: The mediating role of impulsivity. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 43, 2100-2110.
- Silventoinen, K., Su, J., Pulkkinen, L., Barr, P., Rose, R. J., Dick, D. M., & Kaprio, J. (2019). Genetics of Perceived Family Interaction From 12 to 17 Years of Age. Behavior genetics, 49(4), 366–375. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-019-09960-z
- #Cho, S. B., #Su, J., Kuo, S. I., Bucholz, K. K., Chan, G., Edenberg, H. J., … & Dick, D.M. (2019). Positive and negative reinforcement are differentially associated with alcohol consumption as a function of alcohol dependence. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 33, 58-68. #co-first authors
- Su, J., Kuo, S. I., Myers, J. M., Guy, M. & Dick, D. M. (2018). Examining interactions between genetic risk for alcohol problems, peer deviance, and interpersonal traumatic events on trajectory of alcohol use disorder symptoms among African American college students. Development and Psychopathology, 30, 1749-1761.
- Su, J., Kuo, S. I., Aliev, F., Guy, M. C., Derlan, C. L., Edenberg, H. J., … & Dick, D. M. (2018). Influence of parental alcohol dependence symptoms and parenting on adolescent risky drinking and conduct problems: A family systems perspective. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 42, 1783-1794. 2018-2019 top downloaded and most read paper in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
- Su, J., Kuo, S. I., Bucholz, K. K., Edenberg, H. J., Kramer, J. R., Schuckit, M., & Dick, D. M. (2018). Understanding mechanisms of genetic risk for adolescent internalizing and externalizing problems: The mediating role of parenting and personality. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 21, 310-321.
- Su, J., Leerkes, E. M., & Augustine, E. M. (2018). DRD4 interacts with adverse life events in predicting maternal sensitivity via emotion regulation. Journal of Family Psychology, 32, 783-792.
- Su, J., Supple, A. J., Leerkes, E. M., & Kuo, S. I. (2018). Latent trajectories of alcohol use from early adolescence to young adulthood: Interaction effects between 5-HTTLPR and parenting quality and gender differences. Development and Psychopathology, 31, 457-469.
- Dick, D. M., Barr, P. B., Cho, S. B., Cooke, M. E., Kuo, S. I., Lewis, T., Neale, Z., Salvatore, J. E., Savage, J. E., Su, J. (2018). Post-GWAS in psychiatric genetics: A developmental perspective on the “other” next steps. Genes, Brain, & Behavior. 2017-2018 top downloaded and most read paper in Genes, Brain, and Behavior.
- Su, J., Hancock, L., McGann, A., Alshagra, M.*, Ericson, R.*, Niazi, Z.*, Dick, D. M., & Adkins, A. (2018). Evaluating the effect of a campus-wide social norms marketing intervention on alcohol use perceptions, consumption, and blackouts. Journal of American College Health, 66, 219-224.
- Su, J., Supple, A. J., & Kuo, S. I. (2018). The role of individual and contextual factors in differentiating substance use profiles among adolescents. Substance Use and Misuse, 53, 734-743.
- Su, J., & Supple, A. J. (2016). School substance use norms and racial composition moderate parental and peer influences on adolescent substance use. American Journal of Community Psychology, 57, 280-290
- Su, J., & Supple, A. J. (2014). Parental, peer, school, and neighborhood influences on adolescent substance use: Direct and indirect effects and ethnic variations. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. 13, 227-246.
Graduate student Angel Trevino successfully proposed his master’s thesis! Congratulations, Angel! (August, 2022)
Graduate student Angel Trevino presented a poster entitled “Alcohol use disorder polygenic scores and trajectories of childhood externalizing behaviors: Examining the role of parenting and family conflict in the ABCD study” at the Behavior Genetics Association Annual Meeting at Los Angeles! (June, 2022)
New study by Dr. Jinni Su, graduate student Angel Trevino, and colleagues examining the role of genetics, personality, and racial discrimination in alcohol use among Black/African American young adults is published in Journal of Youth and Adolescence, and is featured by ASU News.
New study by Dr. Jinni Su, undergraduate student Isobel Conroy, graduate student Angel Trevino, and colleagues is published in Child Psychiatry and Human Development, and is featured by ASU News. (March, 2022)
Dr. Jinni Su’s research on polygenic risk scores, social support, and alcohol use was featured in the APA Monitor in Psychology. (January, 2022)
Dr. Jinni Su's new study published in Journal of Abnormal Psychology is featured in the U.S. News and World Report and ASU News. (September, 2021).
Dr. Jinni Su's new study published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors is featured in ASU News (September, 2021).
Congratulations to lab members, Mahasin Shigdy, Derek Soto, and Nicole Taylor, who graduated from ASU Psychology in December 2020!!! Many congratulations and best wishes for your bright future!
We are so excited to welcome Angel Trevino, the very first graduate student in the GEYD Lab, to the ASU Developmental Psychology PhD program!!! (August, 2020).
Dr. Su was invited to speak at the 3rd Annual Arizona Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference, Tempe, AZ (via zoom; April 18, 2020). Her presentation was titled " Genetic and Environmental Influences on Substane Use Disorders".
Our undergraduate research assistants, Derek Soto and Mahasin Shigdy, presented at the 3rd Annual Arizona Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference, Tempe, AZ (via zoom; April 18, 2020). Their poster presentation was titled "A systematic review of racial/ethnic discrimination and alcohol use outcomes in the Latino population in the US".
Dr. Jinni Su received seed grant from the Institute for Social Science Research (11/13/2019). Her grant proposal is titled "A Cultural Genomics Approach to Understand Gene-Environment Interactions and Alcohol Misuse among African American College Students".
Dr. Jinni Su is featured on ASU Now about her research, addressing the importance of increasing representation of minority populations in genetic research.
Dr. Su attended the 2019 World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in Los Angeles on 10/26-31, 2019. She presented research showing that higher sensation seeking and lower levels of social support serve as pathways linking genetic risk to alcohol use disorder symptoms in adulthood, using data from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism.