About CAPER   Research   People   How to Participate and be in a study   Contact Information

ADHD  |  Behavioral activation treatment |  Behavioral economics | Developmental science | Disparities research | Neuroimaging Nicotine Dependence |  Risk taking | Smoking cessation | Task Downloads



Our program of research at CAPER is framed within a developmental science perspective (Adrian et al., 2011; Cairns, Elder, & Costello, 1996) that considers the interplay of multifaceted vulnerability factors across multiple levels of analysis (e.g., genetics, environment, psychopathology, personality) and across development. This approach highlights the importance of extant risk factors that are not deterministic, but rather contribute to developmental pathways leading to problem behavior. Our work focuses on bidirectional pathways and mediating mechanisms related to the escalation of risky behaviors over time. The primary aim of our ongoing 10-year longitudinal study is to utilize a developmentally-informed framework, focusing on a core constellation of multifaceted person-based (e.g., personality, risk-taking propensity, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, psychopathology) and context-based (e.g., peer and parent influence, neighborhood risk, drug/alcohol cognitions/expectancies) vulnerabilities as they relate to real-world risk taking behaviors across a high-risk developmental period spanning from early adolescence through emerging adulthood. This study focuses on positive and negative reinforcement pathways, and both the unique and interactive effects of multifaceted domains of risk that are hypothesized to propel individuals along a trajectory of risky behaviors over time.

Selected Grant

  1. Behavioral Technologies for Predicting HIV Risk (R01DA18647).


Selected Publications

  1. Banducci, A.N., Gomes, M., MacPherson, L., Lejuez, C.W., Potenza, M.N., Gelernter, J., & Amstadter, A.B. (2014). A preliminary examination of the relationship between the 5-HTTLPR and childhood emotional abuse on depressive symptoms in 10-12-year-old youth. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. (Published online before print).
    → Click here for the article.
  2. Collado, A., Felton, J.W., MacPherson, L., & Lejuez, C.W. (2014). Longitudinal trajectories of sensation seeking, risk taking propensity, and impulsivity across early to middle adolescence. Addictive Behaviors39(11), 1580-1588.
    → Click here for the article.
  3. MacPherson, L., Calvin, N.T., Richards, J.F., Guller, L., Mayes, L.C., Crowley, M., Daughters, S.B., & Lejuez, C.W. (2012). Development of a behavioral task of negative reinforcement underlying risk taking and its relation to problem alcohol use.Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research36, 950-957.
    → Click here for the article.
  4. Lejuez, C.W., Magidson, J.F., Mitchell, S.H., Stevens, M. C., & de Wit, H. (2010). Behavioral and biological indicators of impulsivity in the development of alcohol use, problems, and disorders. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research34, 1334-1345.
    → Click here for the article.