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Jukka Savolainen photo

Role of Childhood Cumulative Risk in Substance Misuse and Co-occurring Problems

a PSC Research Project

Investigators:   Jukka Savolainen, Andria Bernacchi Eisman

Dr. Jukka Savolainen at the University of Michigan and Dr. W. Alex Mason at Boys Town are both PI?s on a multiple PI project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Mason is the Contact PI.

Dr. Jukka Savolainen serves as a PI/PD at the University of Michigan. He is the director of the National Data Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) at the Inter-university Consortium of Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and Research Scientist at the Institute for Social Research (ISR), University of Michigan. Dr. Savolainen will take primary responsibility supervising the research assistant and introducing the new Co-Investigator (Dr. Eisman) to the data set used in the project. He is also responsible for formulating research questions, directing data-analysis, performing literature reviews, and writing manuscripts. Dr. Savolainen is the key contact between the research team and the Finnish research group responsible for the NFBC data. As a native speaker of Finnish, he is responsible for accessing the data and translating the supporting documentation.

This year, the project welcomes a new Co-Investigator, Dr. Andria Eisman, who is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. Her primary expertise is in adolescent development with a focus on promotive factors and resilience against risk. These are key strengths for our project as we, consistent with project Aims 2a and 2b, turn our attention to questions regarding buffering moderation in the link between cumulative risk and substance misuse outcomes. Dr. Eisman has been trained by, and continues to work with, Dr. Marc Zimmerman, the director of Prevention Research Center at the University of Michigan.

We will hire a research assistant to support every aspect of the research process. The primary tasks are twofold: (a) conducting literature searches and summaries and (b) performing data management and analysis tasks under the supervision of the PI?s. The RA will also participate in the regular meetings and other communications between the members of the research team.

This year the PI will travel to Finland for the purpose of supplementing the existing research file with updated data obtained from Finnish population registries. While in Finland, Dr. Savolainen will meet with senior consultant Dr. Mika Gissler to explore options for additional register linkages. Dr. Savolainen will also present preliminary findings and research ideas to the Finnish members of the NFBC research group. Dr. Gissler is the foremost national authority on the availability of register based data for medical and behavioral scientific research in Finland. He will be consulted about issues related to the data quality and definitions. He will also assist us in our effort to update data on criminal, health, and other register based records. The expectation is for Dr. Savolainen to travel to Finland in December to lay the groundwork for data extraction, with the goal of obtaining the data already available. In addition, he will travel to Finland in May under the assumption that additional register data will have been made available for merging.

Dr. Savolainen also will consult with Dr. Derek Kreager, an internationally recognized, methodologically sophisticated, and theoretically creative author of etiological research on adolescent risk behavior. Dr. Kreager serves as an ideal sounding board in the process of refining the research questions, selecting the methods of analysis, and the developments of manuscripts. Dr. Kreager will travel to Michigan to meet with the Dr. Savolainen and Dr. Eisman this year.

Funding Period: 08/01/2015 to 05/31/2017

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