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WVPRC Affiliates, Drs. Nicholas Turiano and Amy Gentzler, receive Pilot funding from WVCTSI

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

WVPRC Affiliates, Drs. Nicholas Turiano and Amy Gentzler, receive Pilot funding from WVCTSI

Drs. Turiano and Gentzler received 12 month funding from the West Virginia Clinical & Translational Science Institute Pilot Grants Program to longitudinally examine the transition WVU students experience during their entry into college as a freshman. The transition to college is a key developmental turning point in a late-adolescents life. During this time, many individuals experiment with substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and illicit/prescription drugs which can predict long term use and abuse patterns. The design of the study is to recruit approximately 500 incoming WVU freshman and assess baseline substance use prior to their arrival on WVU campus in August 2016. These individuals will be followed over the entirety of their first year as a freshman with 4 additional measurements. The overall aim of the study is to examine substance use patterns over the first year of college. Drs. Turiano and Gentzler seek to identify both predictors and consequences of these substance use patterns. Namely, they will explore personality, temperament, parental attachment and communication, social network functioning, and socioeconomic factors as possible predictors of substance use patterns. In addition, they will explore how substance use co-occurs with risky sexual behavior, self-esteem, academic performance, and psychological health. Drs. Turiano and Gentzler hope this study will inform prevention and intervention efforts aimed at identifying individuals at-risk of experiencing a more difficult transition to college and ultimately information that will aid in reducing the rates of substance use among WVU students.