Led by Dr. Robin GauthierUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
This project aims to create a dynamic multi-level network model that utilizes relationship characteristics and contextual factors to better understand the interpersonal context of rural drug use.
(Aim 1): Determine the associations between interpersonal conflict and frequency of drug use. Analyzing existing ego network data from a longitudinal cohort study of PWUD adults in the Great Plans, this project will a: Determine whether or not interpersonal conflict is more strongly related to frequent drug use when it is embedded in a particular type of relationship. b: Determine whether or not interpersonal conflict is more strongly related to frequent drug use when it is embedded in a particular relational context (i.e. drug use or friendship).
(Aim 2): Determine how social conflict (i.e. interpersonal conflict among drug-use partners and confidants) affects participants’ frequency of drug use. Aim 2 will expand the goals of Aim 1 to include data on the relationships between respondents’ drug-use partners and confidants. This extension will allow for assessing of conflict in the larger social context.
(Aim 3): Use cross-lagged panel analysis to examine the reciprocal relationships between conflict and drug use and their relationship with relational types, behavioral context and network context.
Unique Study Procedures:
Understanding relational dynamics is crucial for the development of successful community intervention strategies targeting drug use behaviors in a social setting. These pilot results are expected to have tremendous translational impact by determining the factors most critical to target through prevention and intervention efforts.
Dr. Robin GauthierPROJECT Director
Dr. Gauthier's work shows how crucial relational processes are for answering pressing questions about health in a dynamic and changing world. Network theories share the fundamental premise that individual behaviors and outcomes cannot be fully understood without reference to the social context that facilitates and constrains access to risk, resources and support. She has applied this insight to several substantive problems including domestic violence support, epidemic potential, and intervention evaluation.