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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

NIAAA Grant Funds Development of Alcohol Intervention Strategies for Sexual Minorities

Jillian Scheer

Posted on: July 29, 2021

Jillian Scheer, assistant professor of psychology, has been awarded a K01 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) for her project, "Testing a biopsychosocial model of violence exposure, minority stressors and hazardous drinking among sexual minority women."

This work is based on Scheer’s longstanding research interest in understanding the burden of minority stressors and violence exposure on mental health and alcohol use patterns among sexual minorities (individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, or who are attracted to or have sexual contact with people of the same gender) and gender minorities (individuals whose gender identity or expression is different from their sex assigned at birth). Her research aims to define hazardous drinking risk factors, patterns, and comorbidities among sexual minority women and develop effective alcohol intervention strategies that are identity-affirmative and trauma-informed.

Scheer says the project will advance knowledge of the mechanisms and processes across biological, behavioral and cognitive levels that increase hazardous drinking risk among vulnerable subgroups of sexual minority women, such as those with PTSD. Examining these shared mechanisms in the lab, in near-real-time, and real-world settings could inform the development of targeted prevention and treatment efforts in this population.