Hector Lopez-Vergara, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island


Advance-CTR Pilot Projects Program (2018)

"Towards Testing the Cross-Cultural Validity of Dual Process Models of Alcohol Use"

This Advance-CTR Pilot Project (Category 1) application seeks to provide me with the resources needed to launch a new, parallel program of research investigating the cross-cultural validity of my currently funded work. My work is funded via a K08 to provide me the tools to test a framework to “unpack” etiological heterogeneity of alcohol use. A valid approach to quantify distinct phenotypes of what appears to be the same outcomes (alcohol involvement) has the potential to advance our mental health classification system, as well as to inform a new wave of etiologically tailored interventions. This Advance-CTR applications seeks to: 1) collect pilot data to increase the representation of Latino youth in my funded K08 data collection project; and 2) test the measurement invariance of instruments needed to quantify etiological heterogeneity across non-Latino White and Latino youth (methods have been predominantly validated in White youth). Invariant instrument functioning is essential to avoid spurious groups differences; hence this study is a necessary step to validate cutting edge etiological models of alcohol use in minority youth. I propose to add 50 Latino participants to a project that is scheduled to recruit 150 predominantly non-Latino White youth between the ages of 18-20. Confirmatory factor analysis will be used to test for the measurement invariance of key instruments needed to quantify etiological heterogeneity. Validating a framework to quantify etiological heterogeneity has substantial public health implications: informing the development of a new wave of etiologically tailored interventions has the potential to build upon existing levels of treatment outcome efficacy.


Kristina Jackson, PhD