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Valerie Williams Receives RTI Award to Publish Student Alcohol Survey Manuscripts
posted 2003.5.1

Dr. Valerie WilliamsDr. Valerie Williams, a psychometrician in RTI Health Solutions, recently received an RTI International Professional Development Award to prepare and publish a set of eight manuscripts arising from the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Student Alcohol Survey. The survey measured alcohol consumption among African-American students at NCCU, a historically Black university (HBCU), from April 2000 through April 2002.

Dr. Williams began working on the survey with funding from a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism grant while employed at NCCU. At the time, she contracted with RTI scientists in statistics and research computing for assistance with designing and implementing the survey. An audio-assisted computer-administered survey was developed.

The study investigated the drinking behavior of the college students, described the outcomes associated with their alcohol use, and identified protective influences and risk factors. The survey included a series of items measuring past and current alcohol consumption and a large number of psychosocial variables, including drinking motives, experiences, and attitudes toward alcohol use.

The set of eight manuscripts was developed based on preliminary analyses of the survey data. Efforts to complete the manuscripts will involve expanding the study to include a larger sample, additional statistical analyses, and additional outcome variables, such as illicit drug use and cigarette smoking. Dr. Williams expects the manuscripts will contribute substantially to the understanding of the risk and protective factors associated with alcohol use and abuse among African-American college students.

Collaborators on the manuscripts include NCCU faculty and former graduate students and experienced alcohol researchers. Dr. Michael Windle from the University of Alabama at Birmingham has been serving as the senior mentor to the project.

Dr. Williams holds a doctorate in quantitative psychology and a bachelor's in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her master's in psychology from NCCU.

RTI Professional Development Awards provide RTI employees with opportunities to expand their capabilities by allowing them to conduct special projects beyond the scope of their regular work. These projects include preparing publications, performing temporary research in other laboratories, and gaining insight into complementary research areas.

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