Rebecca L Smith, M.S.

Graduate Student, Developmental Psychology


BS, Psychology, University of Mary Washington, 2013

MSW, Clinical Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2015

MS, Developmental Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2019


Research Interests

Keywords: Alcohol; Recovery; Relationships; Development; Gene-Environment Interaction

My research interests broadly include risk and resiliency in adolescents and emerging adults. Specifically, I am interested in the relationship between genetics, relationships, and exposure to trauma on future risk-taking behaviors, substance use, and mental health outcomes. The larger goal of my body of work is to better understand the trajectories of individuals at risk in order to inform future prevention and intervention efforts.


Selected Publications

*Cho, S. -B., *Smith, R. L., Bucholz, K., Chan, G., Edenberg, H. J., Hesselbrock, V., Kramer, J., McCutcheon, V. V., Nurnberger, J., Schuckit, M., Zang, Y., Dick, D. M., & Salvatore, J. E. Using a developmental perspective to examine the moderating effects of marriage on heavy episodic drinking in high-risk young adults. Development and Psychopathology.

Paltell, K. C., Smith, R. L., Kansky, J., Cox, C. M., Amstadter, A. B., Dick, D., Salvatore, J. E., & Berenz, E. (2020). Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, relationship quality, and risky alcohol use among trauma-exposed students. Addictive Behaviors, 102, 1-8. PMCID: PMC7110595

Smith, R. L., Salvatore, J. E., Aliev, F., Neale, Z., Barr, P., & Dick, D. M. Genes, roommates, and residence halls: A multidimensional study of the role of peer drinking on college students’ alcohol use. (2019). Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 43(6), 1254-1262. PMCID: PMC6561118

Shakeshaft, C., Smith, R. L., Keener, S. T., & Shakeshaft, E. (2019). Standard of care for protecting students from educator sexual misconduct. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 28(1), 105-124.

*Smith, R. L., *Carroll, A. M., Callaghan, K. T., Rowcliffe, M. A., Sullivan, M. A., & Steckler, D. C. (2015). Emerging adulthood: A college student, middle-class perk? Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 20(2), 80-85.


*Denotes shared first authorship

Full list of publications can be found here.