Stella M. Resko joined the faculty of Wayne State University in 2009 as an assistant professor with the Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute and the School of Social Work. She received her Ph.D. in Social Work in 2007 from the Ohio State University and completed a two year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan Addiction Research Center (T32 award funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 2007-2009).
During her post-doctoral training, Dr. Resko worked on interdisciplinary research teams for two randomized trials designed to develop and test the effectiveness of brief interventions addressing substance use and violence perpetration among adolescents. In addition, Dr. Resko has previously worked at a community-based drug and alcohol treatment program on several national multi-site studies that were part of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network.
Her current research interests focus on substance abuse treatment and prevention, violence (i.e. youth violence, adolescent dating violence, and intimate partner/domestic violence) and sexual risk taking behaviors among adolescents and adult women. Specifically, she is interested in how different risk behaviors (e.g. substance use, violence, and sexual risk taking) are interrelated and how substance use (e.g. alcohol) contributes to adverse health outcomes including sexual risk taking and violent behaviors. Guided by a socio-ecologic framework, Dr. Resko is particularly interested in urban, low income communities as well as the role of neighborhood and community level influences (e.g. poverty, crime, alcohol outlet density) on risk taking behaviors.
Dr. Resko received assistance from Wayne State University’s Center for Urban Studies to conduct a statewide survey of public perceptions and attitudes toward alcohol and marijuana use among adolescents. For this study she adapted a vignette technique to examine public attitudes and perceptions of alcohol and marijuana use among adolescents. Adult participants were asked a series of questions addressing their perception of problem severity, belief in treatment efficacy, and support for alcohol and marijuana use treatment and prevention efforts. Adolescents rarely enter into substance abuse treatment independently and this study addresses existing knowledge gaps on how adults evaluate the severity and treatment options associated with adolescent substance use problems.
The purpose of this study is to conduct semi-structured qualitative interviews that examine the emotional challenges of conducting trauma research. Specifically, this study is examining research team members’ (e.g. interviewers, research assistants, and study clinicians) experiences working directly with participants, self-care and coping strategies to deal with the emotionally charged content, and the impact of the study’s quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method orientation on their experiences. Insights from this study may potentially benefit other researchers and students studying trauma and other emotionally sensitive topics.
Using the National Survey on Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) I and II data, Dr. Resko is currently examining substance use patterns and correlates among adolescents involved in the child welfare system. Her recent work has examined solitary substance use among adolescents involved in the child welfare system and the role of depression, PTSD, and social relationships.
Understanding the Context and Motivations for Substance Use and Violence Among Urban Adolescents
In collaboration with colleagues from the University of Michigan (Dr. Maureen Walton from Psychiatry and Dr. Rebecca Cunningham from Emergency Medicine and Public Health), Dr. Resko is examining the social context and motivations related to substance use (e.g., alcohol, marijuana and other drugs) and violence (e.g., youth violence/fighting, weapon carrying and dating violence) among urban adolescents. Data for this project were collected as part of a larger randomized controlled trial of a brief intervention addressing substance use and violence among adolescents seeking treatment in the Emergency Department (SafERteens).