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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Aesoon Park

Park portrait

Associate Professor


511 Huntington Hall


Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (minor in Psychological Statistics), University of Missouri-Columbia

Predoctoral Clinical Internship, Yale University School of Medicine

M.A. in Clinical Psychology, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea

Certification and Licensure

Licensed Psychologist (Class II) in South Korea

Research and Teaching Interests

My programmatic research focuses on high-risk health behavior (with a focus on alcohol use/misuse) as a developmental phenomenon that is shaped by the interplay between person and environment over time. In the dynamic interactionism perspective, individuals develop through the ongoing reciprocal interplay with their social environment. Applying interactionism to alcohol use/misuse, my research seeks to characterize mechanisms by which individual factors and environmental factors influence each other and determine the course of alcohol use/misuse across the lifespan. The ultimate goal of my research program is to promote a greater understanding of these risk pathways in order to inform the development of targeted prevention strategies that reduce problematic alcohol use among high-risk populations.

My research is based on a multidisciplinary approach and rigorous analytic techniques. My multidisciplinary research meets the growing need to account for not only psychological but also genetic and other biological factors to advance our understanding of psychopathology. My research involves the application of advanced statistical methods (e.g., structural equation modeling, path analyses, multilevel modeling) to longitudinal studies of diverse populations across wide-ranging developmental stages to characterize the complex person-environment interplay that occurs over time.

Taking the multidisciplinary developmental approach, my research program has characterized risk pathways of the development and escalation of alcohol use/misuse involving (1) Risk Pathways Underlying Adolescent Alcohol Use/Misuse and Co-Occurring Health Behaviors, (2) Prospective Gene and Environment Interaction in Alcohol Use/Misuse, and (3) Health Disparities. See representative publications for each area below.

Past and Current Graduate Students

Jueun Kim, Ph.D., Michelle J. Zaso, A.B.D. (news) , Jessica M. Desalu, A.B.D. (news), Patricia A. Goodhines, M.A., and Jin C. Zhao, M.A.

Ongoing/Pending Research Funding

R15AA022496, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 09/04/2014 - 08/31/2019NCE. "Person-Environment Interplay in Alcohol Use and Consequences among Urban High School Students." Role = Principal Investigator (co-investigators = Drs. Stephen Maisto, Peter Vanable, Craig Ewart, John Belote, Stephen Glatt). This project aims to identify the risk pathways involving genetic and psychosocial-environmental risk factors of escalations in alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences (and other high-risk health behaviors) among high school students in a racially diverse urban school district.

F31AA025833, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 06/01/2017 - 05/31/2019. "Interplay between Peer-Based Processes and Alcohol Metabolism Genes on Trajectories of Alcohol Use across Adolescence." Role = Primary Sponsor (student principal investigator = Michelle Zaso; co-sponsors = Drs. Stephen Maisto, Stephen Glatt). This NIH NRSA predoctoral individual fellowship award aims to test the independent and interactive associations of genetic and peer-based contributors to membership in drinking trajectories over the course of adolescence and to support the advanced doctoral student's career development into an independent alcohol researcher.

Cross-Sector/Interdisciplinary Grant, SU ADVANCE (supported by National Science Foundation grant HRD-1008643), Syracuse University. "Alcohol Use Behaviors among Asian College Students." Role = Multiple Principal Investigator with Dr. Bei Yu (co-investigators = Drs. Amanda Brown, Michael Marciano). This interdisciplinary research project aims to test effects of alcohol metabolism genes on alcohol-related experiences among Asian college students through collaboration among experts in addiction, genetics, linguistics, and text mining for health informatics.

R01 AA027677, pending (top 4th percentile, impact score of 20), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, "Racial Differences in Developmental and Daily Sleep-Alcohol Associations in Youth." Role = Principal Investigator (co-investigators = Drs. Les Gellis, Stephen Maisto, Lisa Fucito). This project aims to test both developmental and proximal sleep-alcohol associations across diverse racial groups of youth, and examine risk pathways involving social adversity exposures and stress-dysregulation in these associations over time.

Representative Publications

Student co-authors are underlined; see my CV for a complete list of publications

Risk Pathways Underlying Adolescent Alcohol Use/Misuse and Co-Occurring Health Behaviors:

Goodhines, P. A., Gellis, L. A., Kim, J., Fucito, L. M., & Park, A. (2017, Epub ahead of print). Self-Medication for sleep in college students: Concurrent and prospective associations with sleep and alcohol behavior. Behavioral Sleep Medicine. 2017 Jul 27:1-15. DOI: 10.1080/15402002.2017.1357119 PMID: 28749704 PMCID: PMC5787047

Zaso, M. J., Park, A., Kim, J., Gellis, L. A., Kwon, H., & Maisto, S. A. (2016). The associations among prior drinking consequences, subjective evaluations, and subsequent alcohol outcomes. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 30, 367-376. DOI:10.1037/adb0000166 PMID: 27214171 PMCID: PMC4880416

Park, A., Kim, J., Gellis, L. A., Zaso, M. J., & Maisto, S. A. (2014). Short-term prospective effects of impulsivity traits on college heavy drinking: Mediation by positive and negative drinking consequences. Journal of American College Health, 62, 517–525. DOI:10.1080/07448481.2014.929579 PMID: 24901736

Park, A., O’Malley, S. S., King, S. L., & Picciotto, M. R. (2014). Mediating role of stress reactivity in the effects of prenatal tobacco exposure on childhood mental health outcomes: Results from a prospective population-based study. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 16, 174–185. DOI:10.1093/ntr/ntt131 PMID: 23990474 PMCID: PMC3880234

Prospective Gene and Environment Interaction in Alcohol Use/Misuse:

Kim, J., & Park, A. (2018). Candidate gene and environment interaction on alcohol use and misuse among adolescents and young adults: A systematic review. American Journal on Addictions, 27, 345-363. DOI: 10.1111/ajad.12755 PMID: 29992684

Zaso, M. J., Maisto, S. A., Glatt, S. J., Belote, J. M., & Park, A. (2017). Interaction between the u-opioid receptor gene and the number of heavy-drinking peers on alcohol use. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 41(12), 2041-2050. DOI: 10.1111/acer.13523 PMID: 28992386 PMCID: PMC5711571

Park, A., Kim, J., Zaso, M. J., Glatt, S. J., Sher, K. J., Scott-Sheldon, L. A. J., Eckert, T. L., Vanable, P. A., Carey, K. B., Ewart, C. K., & Carey, M. P. (2017). Interaction between the DRD4 VNTR polymorphism and perceived peer drinking norms in alcohol use among adolescents. Development and Psychopathology, 29, 173-183. DOI:10.1017/S0954579416000080 PMID: 26902782 PMCID: PMC4995157

Desalu, J. M., Zaso, M. J., Kim, J., Belote, J. M., & Park, A. (2017). Interaction between ADH1B*3 and alcohol-facilitating social environments in alcohol behaviors among college students of African descent. American Journal on Addictions, 26(4), 349-356. DOI: 10.1111/ajad.12532 PMID: 28494133 PMCID: PMC 5636222

Kim, J., Park, A., Glatt, S. J., Eckert, T. L., Vanable, P. A., Scott-Sheldon, L. A. J., Carey, K. B., Ewart, C. K., & Carey, M. P. (2015). Interaction effects between the 5-hydroxy tryptamine transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) genotype and family conflict on adolescent alcohol use and misuse. Addiction, 110, 289–299. DOI: 10.1111/add.12753. PMID: 25294733

Racial Disparities in Alcohol Use/Misuse:

Zaso, M. J., Goodhines, P. A., Wall, T. L., & Park, A. (2019, Epub ahead of print). Meta-analysis on associations of alcohol metabolism genes with alcohol use disorder in East Asians. Alcohol and Alcoholism. 2019: Mar 5. DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agz011 PMID: 30834931

Desalu, J. M., Goodhines, P. A., & Park, A. (2019, Epub ahead of print). Racial discrimination and alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences among black individuals: A meta-analytic review. Addiction. 2019 Feb 4. DOI: 10.1111/add.14578 PMID: 30714661

Zaso, M. J., Desalu, J. M., Kim, J., Suryadevara, K., Belote, J. M., & Park, A. (2018). Interaction between the ADH1B*3 allele and drinking motives on alcohol use among Black college students. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 44(3), 329-338. DOI: 10.1080/00952990.2017.1339054 PMID: 28662358 PMCID: PMC5747558

Desalu, J. M., Kim, J., Zaso, M. J., Corriders, S. R., Loury, J. A., Minter, M. L., & Park, A. (2017, Epub ahead of print). Racial discrimination, binge drinking, and negative drinking consequences among black college students: Serial mediation by depressive symptoms and coping motives. Ethnicity & Health. 2017 Sep 21:1-15. DOI: 10.1080/13557858.2017.1380170 PMID: 28931304


Psychology Professors to Reduce Stimulant Misuse on College Campuses

(Oct. 20, 2016)

New grant supports development of preventative measures