Our Work

Current Research

Brief DBT-A in a School-based Setting

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents (DBT-A) has been shown to be an effective program for a variety of adolescent problem behaviors. However, no study to date has examined the use of DBT-A as a substance abuse prevention program among youth, moreover in a school setting. The objective of this study is to test preliminary effectiveness of DBT-A in a school-based setting in 1) increasing emotion regulation and distress tolerance skills and 2) reducing the likelihood or actual engagement in risky behavior, including substance use, among youth.

Is your school or organization interested in partnering with us on this study?
If so, please contact
Kenzie Whitener at

Exploring Concurrent Substance Use among Adolescents (aka “Teen Cell Study”)

This study examines patterns of single and concurrent marijuana use and their association with substance-related consequences among adolescent substance users by race. The study uses online daily diary surveys to quantitatively compare current patterns of marijuana, alcohol and tobacco use, and consequences associated with specific patterns of use. The study also involves qualitative interviews among a sub-sample of  youth to identify potential mechanisms that differentiate users of marijuana only from concurrent users of marijuana and other substances. The goal of this research is to better understand how marijuana use contributes to racial disparities in substance-related consequences and to identify African American youth at greatest risk for such consequences. (Co-PI: Devin Banks)

Are you a student between ages 14-18 interested in participating in this study?
If so, please call
317-278-5880 or email us at

Is your school or organization interested in partnering with us on this study?
If so, please contact
Devin Banks at

Survey of Stress, Trauma, and Health

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between stress, trauma, and health. We would like to examine how race, gender, sexual identity, and experiences of discrimination and trauma as a result of these identities are related to health outcomes (depression, anxiety, healthy eating), behavioral outcomes (alcohol, cannabis, and drug use), and academic outcomes (academic motivation) among college-aged individuals.

Racial Identity and Health Outcomes among Black Young Adults

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between racial identity and various health and academic outcomes among African American/Black college students. We also hope to understand whether racial identity can protect against some of the negative effects of racial discrimination. (Co-PI: Richelle Clifton)

Recent Publications

Zapolski, T. C. B., Yu, T., Barton, A. W., Banks, D. E., & Brody, G. H. (in press). Why now? Examining antecedents for substance use initiation among African American youth from preadolesence to early adulthood. Development and Psychopathology.

Banks, D. E., Hershberger, A. R., Pemberton, T., Clifton, R. L., Aalsma, M. C., & Zapolski, T.C.B. (in press). Differential associations of marijuana use typologies with cognitive, psychological, and substance-related problems among juvenile detainees. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

Rowe, A. T., Zapolski, T. C., Hensel, D. J., Fisher, S., & Barnes-Najor, J. (2019). Peer victimization, mood symptoms, and alcohol use: examining effects among diverse high school youth. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 48(5), 924-934. doi:10.1007/s10964-018-0979-2

Montgomery, L., Zapolski, T. C. B.Banks, D. E., & Floyd, A. (in press). Puff, Puff, Drink: The association between blunt and alcohol use among African American adolescents and young adults. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. doi: 10.1037/ort0000400

Winningham, R. D., Beutlich, M., Banks, D. E., Aalsma, M. C., & Zapolski, T. C. B. (in press). The interactive effect of substance use disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms on behavioral outcomes among juvenile justice youth. American Journal on Addictions.

Zapolski, T. C. B., Beutlich, M., & Fisher, S. (in press). Collective ethnic identity and health outcomes among African American youth: Examination of promotive and protective effects. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. doi: 10.1037/cdp0000258

Banks, D. E., Winningham, R. D., Wu, W., & Zapolski, T. C. B. (in press). Examination of the indirect effect of alcohol expectancies on ethnic identity and adolescent drinking outcomes. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. doi: 10.1037/ort0000390

Banks, D. E., Faidley, M. T., Smith, G. T. & Zapolski, T.C.B. (in press). Racial/ethnic differences in the time-varying association of alcohol expectancies and drinking during the transition from childhood to adolescence. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. doi: 10.1080/15332640.2018.1520174

Zapolski, T. C. B. & Clifton, R. L. (2019). Cultural socialization and alcohol use: The mediating role of alcohol expectancies among racial/ethnic minority youth. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 9, 100145. doi:10.1016/j.abrep.2018.100145

Zapolski, T. C. B., Clifton, R. L., Banks, D. E., Hershberger, A. R., & Aalsma, M. C. (2019). Family and peer influences on substance use among juvenile justice-involved youth. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(2), 447-456. doi:10.1007/s10826-018-1268-0

Zapolski, T. C. B., Rowe, A. T., Banks, D. E., & Faidley, M. T. (2019). Perceived discrimination and substance use: Examining the moderating effect of distress tolerance and negative urgency. Substance Use & Misuse, 54(1), 156-165. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2018.1512625

Zapolski, T.C.B., Faidley, M.T., & Beutlich, M. (2019). The experience of racism on behavioral health outcomes: The moderating impact of mindfulness, 10(1), 168-178. Mindfulness. doi:10.1007/s12671-018-0963-7

Banks, D.E. & Zapolski, T.C.B. (2018). The crossover effect: A review of racial/ethnic variations in risk for substance use and abuse across development. Current Addiction Reports, 5(3), 386-395. doi:10.1007/s40429-018-0220-0

Zapolski, T. C., Rowe, A. T., Fisher, S., Hensel, D., & Barnes-Najor, J. (2018). Peer victimization and substance use: Understanding the indirect effect of depressive symptomatology across gender. Addictive Behaviors, 84, 160-166. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.04.010

Zapolski, T.C.B., Banks, D.E., Lau, K.S.L., & Aalsma, M.C. (2018). Perceived police injustice, moral disengagement, and aggression among juvenile offenders: Utilizing the General Strain Theory model. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 49(2), 290-297doi:10.1007/s10578-017-0750-z

Banks, D. E., Rowe, A. T., Mpofu, P., & Zapolski, T.C.B. (2017). Trends in typologies of concurrent alcohol, marijuana and cigarette use among US adolescents: An ecological examination by sex and race/ethnicity. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 179, 71-77doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.06.026

Zapolski, T. C. B., Fisher, S., Banks, D. E., Hensel, D. J., & Barnes-Najor, J. V. (2017). Examining the protective effect of ethnic identity on drug attitudes and use among a diverse youth population. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(8), 1702-1715. doi:10.1007/s10964-016-0605-0

Zapolski, T. C. B., Baldwin, P., Banks, D. E., & Stump, T. E. (2017). Does a crossover age effect exist for African American and Hispanic binge drinkers? Findings from the 2010-2013 National Study on Drug Use and Health. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 41(6), 1129-1136doi:10.1111/acer.13380/

Banks, D. E. & Zapolski, T. C. B. (2017). Racial differences in the link between alcohol expectancies and adolescent drinking. Addictive Behaviors, 67, 34-37. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.12.005

Banks, D. E. & Zapolski, T.C.B. (2017). Impulsivity and problem drinking in college: Examining the mediating role of sex-related alcohol expectancies and alcohol use at sex. Substance Use and Misuse, 52(8), 992-1002. doi:10.1080/10826084.2016.1268629

Fisher, S., Zapolski, T.C.B., Sheehan, C., & Barnes-Najor, J. (2017). Pathway of protection: Ethnic identity, self-esteem, and substance use among multiracial youth. Addictive Behaviors, 72, 27-32. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.03.003

Zapolski, T.C.B., & Smith, G.T. (2016). Pilot study: Implementing a brief DBT skills program in schools to reduce health risk behaviors among early adolescents. Journal of School Nursing, 33(3), 198-204doi:10.1177/1059840516673188

Zapolski, T.C.B., Fisher, S., Wen, W, & Barnes-Najor, J. (2016). What can parents do? Examining the role of parents on buffering the negative relationship between racial discrimination, negative affect, and behavioral outcomes among African American youth. Clinical Psychological Science, 4(4), 718-731. doi:10.1177/2167702616646371

Zapolski, T.C.B., Baldwin, P. & Lejuez, C.W. (2016). Examining risk for frequency cocaine use: Focus on an African American treatment population. Substance Use & Misuse, 51(7), 882-891. doi:10.3109/10826084.2016.1155618

Zapolski, T.C.B., Lau, K.S., Garcia, C.A., Jarjoura, G.R. & Aaslma, M.C. (2016). Examining the influence of ethnic/racial socialization on aggressive behaviors among juvenile offenders. Journal of Juvenile Justice, 5(1), 65-79. Retrieved from

Hershberger, A., Zapolski, T.C.B., & Aaslma, M.C. (2016). Social support as a buffer between discrimination and cigarette use in juvenile offenders. Addictive Behaviors, 59, 7-11. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.03.00

Dir, A. L., Banks, D. E., Zapolski, T. C. B., McIntyre, E., Hulvershorn, L. A. (2016). Negative urgency and emotion regulation predict positive smoking expectancies in non- smoking youth. Addictive Behaviors, 58, 47-52. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.02.014