Jennifer A Epstein

Jennifer A Epstein
Weill Cornell Medical College | Cornell · Department of Public Health

PhD

About

73
Publications
27,322
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4,850
Citations
Citations since 2017
0 Research Items
935 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Introduction
My research focuses on etiology and prevention of alcohol use/misuse among adolescents and young adults. Currently trying to broaden this domain to include other age groups. And am interested in expanding my research into other areas related to public health.
Additional affiliations
March 1992 - present
Weill Cornell Medical College
Position
  • Faculty Member

Publications

Publications (73)
Article
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Collaboration between public health and computer science shows much promise. The history of the two disciplines is discussed. Examples of recent efforts at collaboration are described to give a flavor of where this path may be going. These studies ranged from some showing effectiveness to others demonstrating the infancy of the collaboration at thi...
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Background Research suggested the importance of parents on their adolescents’ computer activity. Spending too much time on the computer for recreational purposes in particular has been found to be related to areas of public health concern in children/adolescents, including obesity and substance use. Design and Methods The goal of the research was...
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The goal of the research was to determine the association between a variety of factors and amount of time per week on the computer and electronic games. Participants (aged 13–17 years and residing in the United States) were recruited via the Internet to complete an anonymous survey on line using a survey tool. The target sample of 200 participants...
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between computer use and alcohol use among adolescents. In particular, the goal of the research was to determine the role of lifetime drinking and past month drinking on quantity as measured by amount of time on the computer (for school work and excluding school work) and on content as measu...
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This study examined differences in three major risk areas associated with suicidality (suicidal ideation and suicide attempts) separately by gender: 1) substance use, 2) aggression/victimization, and 3) risky sexual behaviors. This study is a secondary data analysis of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS) survey, consisting of data collected...
Article
Using the 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance data (n = 13,917) of high school students, we examined the association between four domains of risk factors (alcohol/drug use, aggression, HIV risk-related behaviors, and health problems) and indicators of suicidality (considering a suicide attempt, making a plan to attempt suicide, and actually attem...
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This study examined the relationship of social influences to use drugs and competence variables with lifetime poly-drug use for adolescents residing in inner-city regions. The same model was tested separately for boys and girls. Sixth- and seventh-graders (N = 2400) in inner-city schools self-reported substance use, social influences to use drugs (...
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Social influences to drink are important predictors of adolescent drinking. This study explored a social influence model of drinking among inner-city adolescents. We examined the role of family drinking and perceived drinking norms in predicting 1-year follow-up perceived social benefits of drinking and the relationship of perceived social benefits...
Article
Past research related to alcohol advertising examined whether underage adolescents were targets of the alcohol industry and what impact such advertising had on adolescent drinking. The purpose of this study was to longitudinally examine the impact of media resistance skills on subsequent drinking among adolescents residing in inner-city regions of...
Article
Past etiology of adolescent substance use research concentrated on the main effects of various risk factors. The purpose of this study was to also longitudinally predict interactions on poly-drug use intensity and future smoking among inner-city adolescents. A panel sample of baseline, 1-year and 2-year follow-ups (N=1459) from the control group of...
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Only a few studies have found competence skills to be a protective factor against adolescent alcohol use; others did not find a direct effect on alcohol. A possible reason for this is that competence skills may moderate the effects of risk factors for alcohol use and that aspect has not been examined often or in a longitudinal design. This study te...
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Prior studies have found inconsistent relationships between measures of self-concept and adolescent alcohol use. The current study explored whether the link between various measures of self-concept and alcohol use depends on gender. In addition, earlier work suggested a focus on negative self-esteem (i.e., self-derogation) might be more useful in p...
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Hispanic seventh and eighth graders (N=1,038) in 22 New York City middle or junior high schools completed self-report questionnaires with items related to drug use (cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and marijuana use), linguistic acculturation (language use with parents), perceived peer smoking norms, perceived peer drinking norms, and psychological...
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Although considerable literature can be found concerning the etiology of cigarette smoking, a major gap exists pertaining to predictors of adolescent smoking for rural populations in the United States. To address this gap in the literature, the present study focused on rural adolescents and investigated a model of social and cognitive cross-section...
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This study examined the relationship of psychosocial factors with alcohol use for adolescents residing in rural Iowa. This association was also tested separately for boys and girls. Seventh graders (N = 1673) self-reported alcohol use, peer drinking norms, adult drinking norms, drug refusal assertiveness, drug refusal techniques, life skills, pro-d...
Article
The purpose of this study is to test specifically which social influences and which problem behaviors predict drinking among a sample of African-American and Caribbean-American black adolescents residing in New York City. A total of 3212 African-American or Caribbean-American seventh graders completed questionnaires assessing their alcohol use, dem...
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Most research of ethnic differences in adolescent drug use resorts to combining all Hispanic individuals into one group. This study focused on polydrug use among adolescents residing in an inner-city region by Hispanic ethnicity (Puerto Rican versus Dominican) and gender. Puerto Rican and Dominican students in 22 New York City middle schools partic...
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Many etiological models of adolescent alcohol use concentrate on the main effects of risk and protective factors. This study examined the moderating influence of risk-taking tendency and refusal assertiveness on perceived friends' drinking as associated with alcohol use among inner-city adolescents. Participants (N = 2,400; 54% female) completed qu...
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Research has shown that competence enhancement prevention programs for substance use are effective in reducing alcohol use and other problem behaviors. However, less is known about the mechanisms by which high competence helps youth avoid negative outcomes. This study explored whether greater competence is associated with increased levels of psycho...
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Several previous studies have investigated the relationship between psychological distress and substance use among youth. However, less research has investigated the potentially protective role of psychological well-being on adolescent substance use, and the extent to which personal competence skills may promote well-being. The present study examin...
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Risk taking and refusal assertiveness have been shown to be important determinants of adolescent alcohol use. However, it remains unclear whether youth predisposed to risk taking would be less likely to assertively refuse. This study examined the relationships among risk taking, refusal assertiveness, and alcohol use in a sample of inner-city minor...
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Previous research suggests that alcohol and drug use among youth may be a function of the total number of etiologic factors present, rather than a specific type of factor. Furthermore, a growing number of studies have found that psychosocial protective factors are important in countering the effects of psychosocial risk. The present study evaluated...
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The present study examined the mechanisms by which social competence may be associated with substance use during early adolescence. The sample consisted of rural youth (N = 1,568) attending 36 junior high schools in a midwestern state. Structural equation modeling indicated that social competence had a direct protective association with substance u...
Article
Hispanic groups are often aggregated when examining adolescent drinking. The objective of this study was to determine the roles of Hispanic group (Puerto Rican versus Dominican) and gender in alcohol use among inner-city youth. Sixth and seventh graders in 22 New York City schools who identified themselves as Puerto Rican or Dominican completed sel...
Article
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Hispanic sixth and seventh graders in 22 New York City middle schools (mean age: 12.66 years) completed self-report questionnaires with items related to drug use (cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and marijuana) use and linguistic acculturation at two assessments (N = 1299 at baseline; N = 1038 at 1-year follow-up). Adolescents who spoke English with...
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A summary of methods to decrease attrition in longitudinal school-based studies conducted with adolescents beginning junior high schools or middle schools is presented. These include collection of contact information about students, additional days to collect data from absentee students, data collection in new high schools once students graduate fr...
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National survey data indicate that illicit drug use has steadily increased among American adolescents since 1992. This upward trend underscores the need for identifying effective prevention approaches capable of reducing the use of both licit and illicit drugs. The present study examined long-term follow-up data from a large-scale randomized preven...
Article
Based on current trends, smoking will remain a major public health problem in the 21st century. Effective smoking prevention approaches offer the best hope for decreasing the rise in adolescent smoking rates. Competence enhancement approaches to smoking prevention are among the most successful. Yet, there is not a full understanding of how effectiv...
Article
National survey data indicate that illicit drug use has steadily increased among American adolescents since 1992. This upward trend underscores the need for identifying effective prevention approaches capable of reducing the use of both licit and illicit drugs. The present study examined long-term follow-up data from a large-scale randomized preven...
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Most adolescents experiment with alcohol, and the use of alcohol typically escalates during the teenage years. The present study examined how several risk and protective factors measured during early adolescence were associated with heavy drinking in a sample of high school seniors. As part of a school-based survey, seventh-grade students (N = 1,13...
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The purpose of this longitudinal investigation was to test whether higher levels of general competence are linked to greater refusal assertiveness that is, in turn, related to less subsequent alcohol use among inner-city adolescents. A large sample of students attending 22 middle and junior high schools in New York City participated. Students compl...
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To test whether higher levels of general competence are linked to more frequent use of refusal assertiveness that is in turn related to less subsequent smoking among inner city adolescents. Longitudinal study conducted during three year middle school or junior high school period. A sample of 1459 students attending 22 middle (ages 11-14 years) and...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among problem behaviors during early adolescence. Specifically this investigation examined the association between drug use and aggression among a sample of inner-city adolescents. Eighth graders (N = 517; 49% boys) attending three New York City schools completed an anonymous questionnaire....
Article
This study examined the effects of linguistic acculturation (language spoken with friends and parents) and gender on alcohol use among Hispanic adolescents. Sixth and seventh graders in 22 New York City schools participated. Hispanic students completed self-report questionnaires at two assessments (N=1295 at baseline; N=1034 at one year follow-up)....
Article
Full-text available
Hispanic adolescents seem to be at greater risk for alcohol use; a greater understanding of the factors that predict alcohol use among Hispanic youth is needed. Social influences to drink and other problem behaviors often predict adolescent alcohol use. However, most past research has concentrated on samples of predominantly white adolescents resid...
Article
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Inner-city black and Hispanic adolescents might be at great risk for alcohol use. Yet the etiology of drinking among these adolescents receives little attention. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of social influences and problem behavior on alcohol use among Hispanic and black adolescents. The impact of these factors was also test...
Article
Full-text available
Background Hispanic adolescents seem to be at greater risk for alcohol use; a greater understanding of the factors that predict alcohol use among Hispanic youth is needed. Social influences to drink and other problem behaviors often predict adolescent alcohol use. However, most past research has concentrated on samples of predominantly white adole...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to determine if ethnic and gender differences in polydrug use exist among a cohort of inner-city adolescents during the three-year middle school period. Students in 22 urban schools completed self-report questionnaires with measures of drug use (smoking, drinking, and marijuana use) at three annual assessments. For par...
Article
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Most adult cigarette smokers start smoking during adolescence. Few studies, however, have focused on adolescents that are heavy smokers. The present study examined how several risk and protective factors measured during early adolescence were associated with heavy smoking in a sample of high-school seniors. As part of a school-based survey, seventh...
Article
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Youths residing in public housing developments appear to be at markedly heightened risk for drug use because of their constant exposure to violence, poverty, and drug-related activity. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a model of marijuana etiology with adolescents (N = 624) residing in public housing. African-American and Hispanic...
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Adolescent smoking continues to rise in the United States. Individuals from economically-disadvantaged households appear at high risk for smoking. This study focused on a sample of economically-disadvantaged adolescents attending New York City schools (N = 1875). Longitudinal predictors of smoking from four domains (socio-demographic background inf...
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Adolescents residing in low-income public housing developments in inner-city regions may be particularly vulnerable to a variety of risk factors associated with cigarette smoking. To elucidate the aetiology of cigarette smoking among adolescents living in public housing developments. We examined predictors of smoking from four domains: background c...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to determine if ethnic and gender differences in alcohol use exist among a cohort of inner-city adolescents during each of the 3 years of middle school. Students in 22 urban schools completed self-report questionnaires with measures of alcohol use (frequency of drinking, amount of drinks per occasion, and frequency of...
Article
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To determine if ethnic and gender differences in smoking (lifetime prevalence and 30-day prevalence) exist among a cohort of Asian, black, Hispanic, and white inner-city adolescents during the 3-year middle school period. Students in 22 urban schools completed self-report questionnaires and provided carbon monoxide breath samples at three annual as...
Article
Cigarette smoking continues to be a major public health problem that specifically affects the adolescent population. This chapter discusses current prevalence rates, recent trends, and the etiology of adolescent smoking, as well as strategies for preventing or reducing it. The authors highlight the prevention approaches demonstrated to effectively...
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Hispanic populations have been shown to be at high risk for smoking. The complex psychological process of adaptation to a different culture (acculturation) has been linked to smoking among Hispanic adults and adolescents. Although a positive association between acculturation and smoking appears to depend on gender among adults, research with Hispan...
Article
Youth residing in low income, inner city, public housing developments might be extremely vulnerable to psychosocial risk factors associated with alcohol use. In this study, we developed and tested a model of alcohol etiology with 624 African-American and Hispanic 7th graders residing in public housing developments. The students completed questionna...
Article
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Epidemiological research indicates that the prevalence rate of drug use among adolescents has risen steadily during this decade, and although alcohol use has stabilized it is still highly prevalent. Psychosocial etiological models have typically examined main effects of risk and protective factors. This study examined moderating effects of intraper...
Article
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Adolescent alcohol use remains a pressing problem. Identifying which groups are at greater risk of alcohol use helps in understanding the etiology of drinking and the development of alcohol prevention programs. Little epidemiologic information regarding alcohol use among inner-city minority adolescents is available. This study examined the relation...
Article
Five newly developed social and personal competence measures had high internal consistency (alphas ranged from .73 to .89) based on a sample ot 5287 seventh grade students.
Article
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Based on the continuing growth and youthfulness of the Hispanic population in the United States, valid cultural measures are needed for Hispanic adolescents. Hispanics living in this country experience acculturation or cultural change during their exposure to American culture. A matched sample of 994 Hispanic students and their parents completed ac...
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This study tested the effectiveness of a drag abuse prevention intervention with a predominantly minority sample of seventh-grade students (N = 721) in 7 urban schools in New York City. The drag abuse prevention curriculum teaches social resistance skills within the context of a broader intervention promoting general personal and social competence...
Article
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This study examined the relationship between language use and initiation of alcohol use among Hispanic adolescents (Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, Ecaudorian). Logistic regression analysis revealed that adolescents who spoke Spanish with their parents had lower odds of having had a drink relative to adolescents who spoke English and Spanish wi...
Article
To examine whether there were any ethnic-racial differences among 144 HIV-infected gay men (47 Caucasian, 48 African-American, and 49 Puerto Rican) on psychological stressors related to the gay lifestyle, responses to the Gay Lifestyle Hassles scale were analyzed. The African-American and Puerto Rican men reported significantly higher scores on fre...
Article
The association between HIV disease progression (asymptomatic, symptomatic, AIDS) and mental health and psychosocial adjustment was examined among 144 men living in the New York City metropolitan area who had sex with men. While mean levels of mental health reported by the men did not differ by disease stage, mean levels of psychosocial adjustment...
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In 2 diary studies of lying, 77 college students reported telling 2 lies a day, and 70 community members told 1. Participants told more self-centered lies than other-oriented lies, except in dyads involving only women, in which other-oriented lies were as common as self-centered ones. Participants told relatively more self-centered lies to men and...
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Two-year follow-up data (from inner-city, minority adolescents) were collected to test the effectiveness of 2 skills-based substance abuse prevention programs and were compared both with a control condition and with each other. Students were originally recruited from 6 New York City public schools while in 7th grade. Schools were matched and assign...
Article
Limited information is available about the etiology of illicit drug use among minority youth. This study examined predictors of marijuana use and intentions to use marijuana, cocaine/crack, and other drugs for African-American and Hispanic seventh graders (N = 757). Self-reports of marijuana use and intentions to use drugs were collected along with...
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During seventh grade, many adolescents initiate alcohol use yet school drop-out rates are still low. Therefore, this is an ideal period of adolescence to examine predictors of alcohol use. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the etiology of alcohol use among an understudied population: disadvantaged inner-city minority youths. Specifically,...
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The purpose of this study was to examine factors associated with young adolescents' increased risk for AIDS. A multiethnic sample of 303 seventh-grade students in three schools in the greater New York area completed questionnaires assessing their basic demographic characteristics (gender and ethnicity), AIDS knowledge, substance use (cigarette smok...
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The authors interviewed 100 Hispanic parents in the language of their choice (Spanish or English) to explore their beliefs aboutAIDSandAIDS education. The authors assessed the relationship between acculturation (language preference) and beliefs about AIDS and sources of information aboutAIDS. In addition, they examined parents'beliefs about AIDS an...
Article
To explore the attitudes of a multi-ethnic sample (African-American, Caucasian, Latino) of parents, a telephone survey was conducted with 297 parents whose children attend school in New York City (98 African-Americans, 100 Latinos, and 99 Caucasians). The survey interview assessed a wide range of issues related to AIDS and AIDS education. In a seri...
Article
We examined demographic and social influence predictors of adolescent drinking among New York City Latino adolescents, including specific Latino subgroups (i.e., Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, and Ecuadorian). Sixth- and seventh-grade students (N = 3129) who identified themselves as Latino or Hispanic on the survey questionnaire comprised our...
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Tested the effectiveness of 2 alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs among 639 inner-city minority 7th-grade students in New York City. Ss were randomly assigned to receive (1) a generic skills training prevention approach, (2) a culturally focused prevention approach, or (3) an information-only control. Results indicate that Ss in both prevent...
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This study was designed to examine the relationship between language spoken and smoking (at least once a month) among New York City Hispanic-Latino adolescents, using a large sample of specific Hispanic-Latino subgroups (Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, and Ecuadorian youth) and controlling for social and environmental factors. The sample includ...
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Limited information is available concerning the etiology of smoking among minority youth. We examined predictors of smoking among inner-city African-American and Latino seventh graders (N = 757). Enhanced self-reports of cigarette smoking were collected along with data concerning background, social environmental, and individual characteristics hypo...
Article
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Subjects were assigned to competition or no-competition groups. Competition subjects received information about their rival (establishing an expectancy for success or failure) or did not. Competition enhanced intrinsic interest for achievement-oriented individuals but undermined it for low achiever. The effects of competition also depended on the a...
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When people are motivated to tell an effective lie, they are less successful when others can observe their nonverbal cues. It was predicted that expectations for success would moderate this motivational impairment effect, such that it would occur primarily when expectations were low. Ninety-six women who thought of themselves as very independent to...
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We predicted that socially anxious people who are faced with the prospect of an interpersonal evaluation will act in an inhibited and withdrawn way. Subjects who scored low or high on a measure of social anxiety told four stories about themselves to an interviewer. In the anticipated-evaluation condition, the subjects learned that after they had to...
Article
This study evaluated the effectiveness of nicotine chewing gum in smoking cessation, when incorporated into a behaviorally oriented self-help program. One hundred ninety-seven patients were randomly assigned to nicotine gum with a self-help manual, a self-help manual without gum, or a control condition, but received no further treatment from the pr...
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If individuals attribute smoking cessation to external factors, they may be less able to maintain abstinence over time. To examine the role of attributions in initial and long-term behavior change, we manipulated the externality of treatment by comparing self-help manuals with and without a drug component and by comparing the motivational orientati...
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--Columbia University, 1988. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 75-79).

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