In the Affective and Biological Underpinnings of Anxiety and Substance Abuse (ABUSA) lab we seek to identify underlying vulnerabilities that place individuals at risk for co-occurring anxiety pathology and substance use disorders, and/or may serve to maintain associated dysfunction.
Our program of work is translational in nature and utilizes laboratory paradigms to examine how vulnerabilities of interest predict outcomes in the context of stress. However, our end goal is to develop targeted interventions to help improve health and mental health outcomes for this difficult to treat population.
Given the bidirectional relations of behavior, affect, and physiology, it is our belief that psychological interventions should be integrative. Thus, toward our goal of understanding risk factors for anxiety and substance use, we take a multi-method approach, utilizing a combination of self-report, behavioral, and psychophysiological methods.
Current research focuses on cigarette smoking, with an emphasis on understanding factors that may moderate affective and behavioral responses to acute nicotine withdrawal in the context of stress. Future directions of the lab include the development of novel smoking cessation interventions that target both cognitive and physiological parameters.
We are recruiting talented and motivated students wishing to gain hands-on research experience and require a two semester, 10-hour/week commitment. For more information on our ongoing projects and to learn how to apply, please visit: https://psych.rutgers.edu/abusa-lab/.