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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


Licensed Psychologist (Class II) in South Korea

Research Interests

My programmatic research focuses on high-risk health behavior (with a focus on alcohol use/misuse) as a developmental phenomenon. Applying dynamic 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 also 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.

Current Research Projects

Project Teen II, Role = Principal Investigator (co-investigators = Drs. Les Gellis, Stephen Maisto, and Lisa Fucito), funded by NIAAA R01 AA027677, NIAAA, 8/15/2019 – 07/30/2024. 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.
Project Teen I, Role = Principal Investigator (co-investigator = Dr. Stephen Maisto, Scientific advisors = Drs. Peter Vanable, Craig Ewart, John Belote, and Stephen Glatt), funded by NIAAA R15 AA022496, 09/04/2014 – 08/31/2019NCE. 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.
Alcohol Use Behaviors among Asian College Students, Role = Multiple Principal Investigator with Dr. Bei Yu (co-investigators = Drs. Amanda Brown, and Michael Marciano), funded by Syracuse University Cross-Sector/Interdisciplinary Grant, SU ADVANCE (NSF grant HRD-1008643). 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.

Representative Publications

Student co-authors are underlined; please see my CV, SU experts page, Google Scholar page or ResearchGate page for a complete list of publications.

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

Goodhines, P. A., Gellis, L. A., Ansell, E. B., & Park, A. (2019). Cannabis and alcohol use for sleep aid: A daily diary investigation. Health Psychology, 38(11), 1036-1047. PMID: 31169378 PMCID: PMC6800769 DOI: 10.1037/hea0000765

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. PMID: 27214171 PMCID: PMC4880416 DOI: 10.1037/adb0000166

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. PMID: 24901736 DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2014.929579

Park, A., Sher, K. J., Wood, P. K., & Krull, J. L. (2009). Dual mechanisms underlying accentuation of risky drinking via fraternity/sorority affiliation: The role of personality, peer norms, and alcohol availability. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 241–255. PMID: 19413401 PMCID: PMC2742489 DOI: 10.1037/a0015126

Racial Disparities in Alcohol Use/Misuse:

Goodhines, P. A., Desalu, J. M., Zaso, M. J., Gellis, L. A., & Park, A. (2020). Sleep problems and drinking frequency among urban multiracial and monoracial adolescents: role of discrimination experiences and negative mood. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 49(10), 2109-2123. PMID: 32860577 DOI: 10.1007/s10964-020-01310-1 NIHMSID:1624913

Desalu, J. M., Goodhines, P. A., & Park, A. (2019). Racial discrimination and alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences among black individuals: A meta-analytic review. Addiction, 114(6), 957-967. PMID: 30714661 PMCID: PMC6510626 DOI: 10.1111/add.14578

Desalu, J. M., Kim, J., Zaso, M. J., Corriders, S. R., Loury, J. A., Minter, M. L., & Park, A. (2019). Racial discrimination, binge drinking, and negative drinking consequences among black college students: Serial mediation by depressive symptoms and coping motives. Ethnicity & Health, 24(8), 874-888. PMID: 28931304 PMCID: PMC5862766 DOI: 10.1080/13557858.2017.1380170

Zaso, M. J., Goodhines, P. A., Wall, T. L., & Park, A. (2019). Meta-analysis on associations of alcohol metabolism genes with alcohol use disorder in East Asians. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 54(3), 216-224. PMID: 30834931 PMCID: PMC6516434 DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agz011

Prospective Gene and Environment Interaction in Alcohol Use/Misuse:

Kim, J., Marciano, M. A., Ninham, S., Zaso, M. J., & Park, A. (2019). Interaction effects between the cumulative genetic score and psychosocial stressor on drinking urge and attentional bias for alcohol: A human laboratory study. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 54(1), 30-37. PMID: 30192917 PMCID: PMC6324655 DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agy065

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. PMID: 28992386 PMCID: PMC5711571 DOI: 10.1111/acer.13523

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. PMID: 26902782 PMCID: PMC4995157 DOI: 10.1017/S0954579416000080

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. PMID: 25294733 DOI: 10.1111/add.12753

Graduate Mentees

Jueun Kim, Ph.D. in 2017, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Chungnam National University, South Korea

Michelle J. Zaso, Ph.D. in 2019, Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Buffalo, Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions

Jessica M. Desalu, Ph.D. in 2019, Staff Clinician at the University Counseling Service, Howard University

Patricia A. Goodhines, ABD., 2015–Present

Jin C. Zhao, M.S., 2017–Present

Amelia V. Wedel, B.A., 2019–Present

Fatima Dobani, B.A., 2019–Present

Elizabeth Cabot, M.A., 2020–Present


PSY252, Statistical Methods II, Undergraduate Course

PSY431, Alcohol Use and Misuse, Undergraduate Course

PSY780, Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling, Graduate Course