Project Overview

How does alcohol play a role in one’s identity formation?

Faculty Sponsor

Julia Martinez (




Heavy and problematic alcohol use is common in the United States.  But many high-functioning individuals consider heavy drinking to be part of their lifestyles and identity.  Currently, science knows little about High Functioning Alcoholics (HFAs).  So let’s carry out two exploratory projects to learn more about how high-functioning individuals think about alcohol use in relation to their lives and identity.  The first project will be a series of in-person interviews that seeks to ask people how they view alcohol use in relation to the transition between college and career.  The second project will be an intervention experiment to reduce problematic drinking.  Specifically, student researchers will ask participants to make a positive life change of their choosing and follow them over the summer.  The hope is that one positive life change will carry over to others.  This work will promote our better understanding of people, ourselves, and ways to help those around us.   

Student Qualifications

Interested students should: (1) Have a strong intrinsic scientific interest in addiction, (2) Be independent, motivated and self-guided workers, (3) Be willing to talk face-to-face with strangers, (4) Be meticulous in data collection and have a strong work ethic, (5) Be sensitive to human conditions and generally ethical, (6) Have a good attitude, (7) Aspire to graduate school or other professional work, (8) Be open to feedback, (9) Act as a professional at all times.

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

8 weeks

Applications open on 01/05/2018 and close on 02/05/2018

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (