Faculty members in BSS conduct research at the individual, family, organization, community, population, and policy levels. Total research funding for BSS faculty in 2009, 2010, and 2011 was $11,139,785, $12,469,460, and $12,135,647, respectively. BSS research, and BSS faculty expertise, generally falls into the following five broad categories.
Many BSS faculty members study the causes, consequences, and interventions for substance use problems. Treatment outcome studies for alcohol and addiction problems characterized much of the earlier work among many of our faculty and while this underlying theme still exists, expertise has been developed in the related areas of assessment; co-use of alcohol and tobacco; substance use among college students; mechanisms of behavior change; mediators and moderators of treatment outcomes; and the process of implementing behavior change counseling.
Other BSS faculty members focus on the research areas of Obesity, Nutrition, and Physical Activity. Much of this work involves community-based interventions, particularly for ethnic minority populations. Of particular emphasis has been work on initiation, adoption, and maintenance of health behavior change, and the role of affect and cognition in health behavior and exercise promotion. Health behavior theory testing and development and stages of change for behavior adoption are also areas of expertise.
Another emerging area of expertise among BSS faculty is HIV prevention in
high risk communities and the interaction of HIV/AIDS, alcohol, substance use, and mental health. Members of the BSS faculty have recently been awarded an NIH Center Grant to examine synergies of alcohol and HIV/AIDS at the biological, neurological, and behavioral levels.
A primary aim of many BSS faculty members is to understand and eliminate disparities in health and healthcare outcomes affecting diverse populations. As a result, many BSS faculty members direct their research efforts toward understanding and addressing the social, cultural, and environmental factors contributing to these health disparities. Faculty members do this by implementing interdisciplinary, community-based, quantitative and qualitative research methods. BSS faculty aim to prevent, reduce, and eliminate health disparities within the following special emphasis areas and determinants: HIV/STIs; mental health; obesity, nutrition, and physical activity; and, alcohol and other drug use.