The Effects of Social Networks on Women’s Substance Use Disorder Recovery Outcome

Principal Investigators and Research Partners:
Principal Investigator: Hortensia Amaro, Associate Vice Provost for Community Research Initiatives and Dean's Professor of Social Work and Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work
Co-Principal Investigator: Erin M. Kerrison, Assistant Professor, Berkeley Social Welfare

Summary and Findings:

Since June 2016, Dr. Erin Kerrison has worked with Dr. Hortensia Amaro on the development of a Diversity Supplement proposal to her NIDA funded parent R01 study entitled, “Neuro Mechanisms in Women's Treatment and Early Recovery” (R01 DA038648-01A1). The parent study is testing the efficacy and mechanisms of action of a mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) for racially and ethnically diverse women in residential substance use disorder treatment. Data are collected at three points in time: (a) baseline – after program entry and before intervention start, (2) post-intervention – immediately after the six-week (12 sessions, 1.5 hours each) intervention completion date and (3) eight months post intervention completion date.

Dr. Kerrison is taking the lead on the recently funded supplemental work focused on investigating the nature and impact of social networks and social support over time (data gathered on social support and networks prior to treatment and intervention, during intervention and post intervention), and whether and how trajectories of social support are associated with substance abuse recovery outcomes for poor Black, Latina and White women. The project aims to address a gap in the literature where little is known about the intersection between MBI treatment adherence and outcomes and clients’ social networks. This will be the first project in a population of racially and ethnically diverse women in SUD treatment whose explicit aim identifies and measures typologies of trajectories of social support over time (before, while and after they leave treatment), and then links those trajectories to treatment adherence and outcomes, controlling for the intervention (or elements associated with the intervention). Over the two-year duration of the supplement, Dr. Kerrison will develop skills in culturally competency, clinical trial study design, data analysis, research dissemination and R01 proposal preparation through a number of different focused training and mentorship mechanisms.

Dr. Kerrison has also secured additional support for this project through the Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Abuse Fellowship (R25DA026401-08) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse Diversity Scholars Network Program.


National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health
Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Abuse Fellowship
National Institute on Drug Abuse Diversity Scholars Network Program