Mediators of Violence Exposure and Substance Use

Led by Dr. Arthur (Trey) Andrews III University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Study Overview:

The MoVES project aims to delineate the exact pathways between specific substance use and violence-related factors so we may better understand the complexities of drug abuse and intelligently design interventions to reduce its harms.

Specific Aims:

(Aim 1): Delineate the role of negative affect as a proximal predictor of illicit drug use and a mediator between violence exposure and substance use among a sample of active drug users by using EMA methods.

(Aim 2): Delineate the role of craving as a proximal predictor of illicit drug use and a mediator between negative affect and substance use by using EMA methods.

(Aim 3): Delineate the role of stress regulation in substance use frequency among this population by combining lab-based procedures and EMA methods.

Study Sample Population:

N=75 (low-moderate users from Rural Health Cohort Study).

Unique Study Procedures:

Participants will complete controlled procedures for assessing stress dysregulation, followed by real-time assessments of craving, negative affect, and substance use over a period of five weeks. This research will take the innovative step of combining lab-based procedures with validated ecological measures to provide novel data on the basic behavioral and cognitive processes operating in situ in an individual drug user’s environment. The project will also combine multiple measures of stress and stress responding, including self-report and objective physiological data via novel data collection technology that links real-time physiological data with real-time self-report measures, thus substantially expanding current research capabilities focused on rural drug use.

Long-Term Goals:

To develop comprehensive model estimates for the manifold pathways linking rural drug use with violence exposure and, in turn, provide a foundation for more targeted intervention design.




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Trey Andrews

Dr. Arthur (Trey) Andrews III PROJECT Director

Dr. Andrews received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Arkansas. From 2014 to 2016, he was an NIMH-funded postdoctoral fellow at the National Crime Victims Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. His research focuses on understanding mental health disparities and he is particularly interested in understanding what contributes to lower utilization of healthcare services and worse treatment outcomes.

Full Trey Andrews bio


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David DiLillo

David DiLilloMentor

David DiLillo received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Oklahoma State University in 1997. Prior to joining the faculty in 2000, he served as a Research Assistant Professor and project coordinator of a federal grant at the University of Missouri-Columbia, which explored predictors of unintentional injury among children. His primary research interests are in the area of family violence, including child maltreatment and marital and couple violence. He has a particular interest in the long-term functioning of adults who have experienced various forms of childhood trauma and maltreatment (e.g., sexual abuse, physical abuse, exposure to violence). He is particularly interested in understanding revictimization occurring during childhood/adolescence and again in adulthood. His research has been funded by NIMH and NICHD. Recent projects in his research group have focused on the marital adjustment of childhood maltreatment survivors, psychosocial mediators of revictimization, emotional influences on intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration, and the development of a Web-based measure of child maltreatment. He is currectly the Director of the Clinical Psychology Training Program. His teaching activities include psychotherapy, couples and family therapy, and supervision of clinical practicum.

Full David DiLillo bio


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Tim Nelson

Tim NelsonMentor

Dr. Nelson received his Ph.D. in clinical child psychology from the University of Kansas in 2008 following a clinical internship at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. He subsequently completed his post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology in the Stanford University School of Medicine before joining the UNL faculty in 2009. He has served as the Associate Director of Clinical Training at UNL since 2012.

Full Tim Nelson bio