Funding: NIAAA R01 AA09750
The study identifies the determinants of seven-year time paths of consumption patterns and changing alcohol-related problems in large samples of treated and untreated problem drinkers drawn from the same community. Time paths, or trajectories” of problem drinking are of both theoretical and applied relevance to the alcohol field where drinking problems are increasingly viewed as chronic cyclical and relapsing. The study addresses the underlying roles that a wide spectrum of health and human services plays in the long-term course of alcohol problems–in getting better staying the same or progressing to more serious problems over time. The study follows a large representative sample of problem drinkers presenting to agencies throughout a single county’s public and private treatment system over seven years.
As a subcontractor to the University of California at San Francisco for this NIAAA-sponsored project (subcontract PI Kaskutas) ARG staff collect data coordinate agreements with the fieldwork agencies direct and monitor fieldwork and participate in data analysis and manuscript preparation. Dr. Kaskutas has applied the trajectories’ approach to study “careers” of Alcoholics Anonymous attendance over time and has also studied social networks as potential mechanisms of action associated with the impact of AA on drinking in this sample.