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Pathways of Risk and Resilience Lab (Chassin)

Keywords:  alcohol; cigarette smoking; longitudinal studies; intergenerational transmission

Lab Research Area:

The Chassin lab conducts research on developmental pathways of risk and resilience from childhood to adulthood. Our projects include longitudinal studies of the origins of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and the mechanisms through which these behaviors are transmitted across multiple generations.

Current projects:

  • Pathways to Desistance: Our laboratory participates in the Pathways to Desistance Project, which is a multi-site study of the pathways out of criminal offending.
  • The IU Smoking Survey: The Indiana University Smoking Survey is a long-term longitudinal study of trajectories of tobacco use from adolescence through midlife and the intergenerational transmission of cigarette smoking. This project includes studies of implicit attitudes toward smoking and the effects of the proposed FDA graphic warning images on implicit attitudes.
  • The Adult and Family Development Project: AFDP is a genetically informed, 20-year longitudinal study of three generations that examines the development of alcohol and drug use and substance use-related problems as well as protective factors that promote healthy development.

If you're interested in joining the lab as an undergrad research assistant, prospective doctoral student or T32 post-doc trainee, please contact Dr. Laurie Chassin.


Join the Lab! Please contact Dr. Laurie Chassin.







Lab Director & Principal Investigator:  Laurie Chassin, PhD, Regent's Professor

Dr. Chassin’s research focuses on substance use disorders and the pathways by which they are transmitted across generations. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a Charter Fellow of the American Psychological Society. Dr. Chassin received the ASU Alumni Association Faculty Achievement Research Award in 2006 and was named a Regents Professor in 2007. She also received the ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Association Faculty Award. She currently serves as an Associate Editor of Journal of Abnormal Psychology and a Field Editor of Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Her past Associate Editorships include Psychology of Addictive Behaviors and Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

Lab Faculty

Kit Elam, PhD, Assistant Professor, T. Denny Sanford Social and Family Dynamics.

Kit is a former NIMH T32 post-doctoral fellow at the ASU REACH Institute. The goal of his research program is to identify modifiable family processes within developmental cascades that contribute to poor socio-emotional, behavioral, and health outcomes across childhood and adolescence. Within this framework, Kit’s research examines the interplay between children’s genetic risk and negative family processes that contributes to psychopathology later in life, with particular emphasis on genotype-environment correlations. By using innovative genetic designs, his research (1) examines the role that children’s genetic risk may play in evoking stressful early life experiences including negative parenting behavior and (2) is able to detect early family environmental influences (e.g., hostile parenting, interparental conflict) on children’s psychopathology absent of common genetic influences, which can inflate estimates of parent-child associations. This approach confirms findings of past research and offers new insight into stressful family processes early in life that are amenable to preventive interventions in an effort to disrupt harmful developmental cascades. 

Doctoral Students

Frances Wang, Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology. Frances earned her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She currently works with Dr. Laurie Chassin on her three-generational longitudinal study of familial alcoholism. Her interests mainly lie in the etiology and development of substance use/disorders, related externalizing problems, and heterotypic comorbidity. Frances was previously awarded a T32 pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health to receive training in prevention science. Her dissertation research is supported by a National Service Research Award Individual Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Andre Mansion, Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology and a student of law at the Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law at ASU. Andre graduated with distinction from Duke University in 2008 with a B.A. in psychology. He works with Dr. Chassin on the Pathways to Desistance Project, a study of serious juvenile offenders. Broadly, his interests are in substance use and mental health disorders, sexual orientation, and race/ethnicity, specifically as they relate to juvenile delinquency and adolescent offenders. Andre hopes to integrate his legal training with his clinical training to influence policymaking pertaining to prevention and intervention efforts in the juvenile justice system. 

Brandon Nichter, Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow under the auspices of Dr. Chassin and Dr. Nancy Gonzales. Brandon is currently involved in research with both the La Familia and Pathways to Desistance projects. Brandon earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology with distinction from Lewis & Clark College and his M.A. in Clinical Psychology from ASU in 2014. Prior to conducting his graduate work, Brandon was a Fulbright Scholar in Chile, where he conducted research on depression and substance use among adolescents at the University of Chile, School of Medicine. More recently, Brandon spent two years as an IRTA fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Broadly, his research interests include psychiatric epidemiology, developmental psychopathology, substance use, and cross-cultural health behavior.

Danielle Pandika, Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology. Danielle is currently working with Dr. Chassin on the Adult and Family Development Project. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests include understanding the etiology and development of substance use disorders and externalizing behaviors, with a particular focus on identifying mechanisms of genetic influence. She has been awarded a T32 pre-doctoral fellowship from NIDA to receive training in Drug Abuse/HIV Prevention. 

Ariel Sternberg, Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology. Ariel is working with Dr. Chassin on the Adult and Family Development Project. Her main interests are the etiology and development of substance use disorders, focusing on the risk pathways that lead to the development of disorder and how these pathways could inform effective prevention strategies. Prior to her work as a graduate student, she completed her B.S. at the University of Maryland and worked as a research coordinator on an adolescent residential unit at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA.

Leena Bui, Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology. Leena earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She currently works with Dr. Chassin on the Adult and Family Development Project, a three-generational longitudinal study of familial alcoholism, and the Pathways to Desistance Project, a study of serious juvenile offenders. Her research interests include the development of substance use disorders and related externalizing problems. Prior to her work as a graduate student, she worked as a research coordinator for a longitudinal study examining the personality of Veterans undergoing substance use treatment at the Menlo Park VA in Palo Alto, CA.

Undergrad Research Assistant(s)

Heather Smyth. Heather is an undergraduate psychology student and research assistant with the Adult and Family Development project. Her research interests include quantitative methods and the development of interventions to promote academic decision making.


Where are they now?

Former Doctoral Students and Research Assistants:

Moira Haller, Post-doctoral Fellow, San Diego VA Healthcare System
Kaitlin Bountress, Post-doctoral Fellow, Medical University of South Carolina
Matt Lee, Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia
Iris Beltran Richardson, Post-doctoral Fellow, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Elizabeth Handley, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Rochester
Kevin King, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle
Ryan Trim, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UCSD
Jenna Gosling (Masters chair), Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan
Eileen Leuthe, Instructor in Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Christian Delucia, Associate Professor of Psychology, NOVA University
Michael Marshal, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh
Andrea Hussong, Professor of Psychology, UNC-Chapel Hill
Craig Colder, Professor of Psychology, SUNY Buffalo
Patrick Curran (Masters chair, Dissertation co-chair), Professor of Psychology, UNC-Chapel Hill
Brooke Molina, Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Pittsburgh
Adam Carle (Masters chair), Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati
Jennifer Weller, Research Director, Child Psychiatry Division of the Maricopa Integrated Health System   (MIHS) and District Medical Group of Arizona (DMG)
Claire McGrath (Masters chair), Psychologist, Einstein Health Care
Aaron Belz, Psychologist, Olympia Washington
Kris Cooper, Psychologist, Banner Good Samaritan, Phoenix Arizona
Christine Tetzloff, Psychologist Payson, Arizona
Sheri Zatz, Psychologist, Coral Springs, FL
John Barton, Director, ASU Department of Psychology, Clinical Psychology Center

Former Post-doc Trainees:

Kathy Modecki (co-mentor), Senior Lecturer, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
Michelle Little (co-mentor), Northrup Grumman Army Analytics Group
Jeff Stuewig, Research Associate Professor, George Mason University
Mindy Dahl, Senior Research Scientist, Wyoming Department of Health
Jon Macy, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, Indiana University-Bloomington
Jen Rose, Research Associate Professor of Psychology, Wesleyan University
Dave Flora, Associate Professor, York University
Barbara Rose, Staff Psychology, ASU Counseling and Consultation
Alexandra Loukas, Professor of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas-Austin
Steve Pitts, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Maryland-Baltimore County
Melodie Fearnow-Kenney, Vice President of Research and Development, Prevention Strategies
Fred Rogosch, Associate Professor of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester



Select Publications

Below are a sample of recent publications from Dr. Chassin's research. A more complete listing may be found in Dr. Chassin's curriculum vitae.

In press

Elam, K., Chassin, L., Wang, F., Bountress, K., Lemery-Chalfant, K., Pandika, D., Parent-child transactions and late adolescent substance use: Considering gene-environment correlation and interaction. (in press; Invited paper for a special issue of Development and Psychopathology).

Bountress, KB, Chassin, L., & Lemery-Chalfant, K. (in press). Parent knowledge and adolescent substance use: a genetically formed study. Development and Psychopathology.

Wang, F., Chassin, L., Eisenberg, N., & Spinrad, T. Effortful Control and Adolescent Antisocial/Aggressive Behaviors and Depressive Symptoms: Co-occurrence and Moderation by Reactive Control. (in press). Child Development.

Lee., M., Chassin, L., & MacKinnon, D.P.  (in press).Young adult maturing out of problem drinking: Stronger effects of young adult marriage among more severe pre-marriage drinkers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.


Chassin, L., Mansion, A., Nichter, B., & Pandika, D. (2015). Substance use and juvenile justice. For K; Heilbrun, Ed. APA Handbook of Psychology and Juvenile Justice.

Stein, G., Hussong, A., & Chassin L.  (2015). An examination of the leaving home transition for children of alcoholics and their families: A comparison of Latino and Non-Latino European Americans. Journal of Family Issues, Vol 36(6), 784-804. doi: 10.1177/0192513X13498592

Chassin, L., Sher, K., Hussong, A., Curran, P., & Colder, C. (2015). The developmental psychopathology of substance use disorders. Invited Chapter for Developmental Psychopathology, 3rd edition, Dante Cicchetti, Editor.

Macy, JT., Presson, C.C., Yeung, E., & Chassin, L. (2015). The effects of graphic warning labels on smoking attitudes and intentions. Psychology and Health.

Wang, F., Chassin, L., Geiser, C., & Lemery-Chalfant, K. (2015). Mechanisms in the Relation between GABRA2 and Adolescent Externalizing Problems. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.


Haller, M., Wang, F., Bountress, K., & Chassin, L. (2014). The interactive effects of effort to regulate alcohol use, anxiety disorders, and affective disorders on long-term remission from alcohol dependence. Addiction Research and Theory, 22, 371-379.

Wright, K., Kim, B., Chassin, L., Losoya, S., & Piquero, A. (2014). Ecological context and youth reoffending: Identifying the social mechanisms. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43(10), 1781-1799.


Bountress, K.B., Haller, M., & Chassin, L. (2013). Problems in the leaving home transition and adult affective disorder. Emerging Adulthood 1, 196-206.

Chassin, L., Sher, K., Hussong, A., & Curran, P. (2013). The developmental psychopathology of substance use disorders: 25 years of progress and future directions. Development and Psychopathology, 25, 1567-1584.

In the News!

Recent story in the Medical Daily ( May 18, 2016) on the effects of marriage on alcoholism cites earlier research by Chassin et.al, Getting Married Might Lead To Reduction In Heavy Drinking Among Young Adults  (Aug 5, 2015).

Doctoral student Frances Wang has been been selected to receive the prestigious  Philanthropic Education Organization Scholar Award. PEO awards "are one-time, competitive, merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada ...who will make significant contributions in their varied fields of endeavor. Priority is given to women who are well established in their programs, study or research."  Congratulations Frances!!  (posted 4/06/16)

Post-doc positions available

Dr. Laurie Chassin also directs a NIDA-funded T32 post-doctoral training program for the Department of Psychology and its REACH Institute. The T32 program focuses on closing the research-practice gap with training through mentored research experience and through individually-tailored programs of coursework in drug abuse, HIV, and implementation science. For further information, visit the T-32 webpage, or the REACH Institute, and/or the department's  jobs page. TO APPLY: interested candidates should electronically send a vita, statement of research and training goals, and 3 letters of recommendation to:  laurie.chassin@asu.edu. Applications are currently being reviewed and will continue until all positions are filled.