Dr. Weiss is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island and Director of the Study of Trauma, Risk-taking, Emotions, and Stress Symptoms (STRESS) Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Jackson State University in 2013, following completion of her Predoctoral Internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. In 2013, Dr. Weiss was awarded a National Institute on Drug Abuse T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Substance Abuse Prevention Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. In 2016, she joined the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Weiss joined the faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island in 2017. Dr. Weiss’ work has been recognized by several early career awards, including a Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science; Clinical Research Loan Repayment and Early Career Travel Awards from the National Institute on Drug Abuse; and the 2019 University of Rhode Island Early Career Faculty Research and Scholarship Excellence Award in Social Sciences (Highest Research Award for Early Career Faculty in Social Sciences). She currently serves as Principal Investigator on grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (K23DA039327) examining posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), emotion dysregulation, substance use, and HIV/sexual risk; the Center of Biomedical Research and Excellence (COBRE) On Opioids and Overdose (funded by the National Institutes of Health P20GM125507) examining the co-occurrence of PTSD and opioid misuse; the the Rhode Island Foundation examining emotion dysregulation as a proximal predictor of relapse following residential substance use disorder treatment in patients with and without PTSD. Dr. Weiss’ program of research focuses on the application of ecological momentary assessment to study the co-occurrence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder (SUD). In particular, her research aims to clarify the role of affective processes – most notably emotion dysregulation – in the development and maintenance of co-occurring PTSD-SUD, as well as elucidate the mechanisms through which maladaptive ways of responding to both negative and positive emotions heighten involvement in substance use among individuals with PTSD. Dr. Weiss aims to produce basic research to optimize detection and intervention of PTSD-AUD.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is highly prevalent (42-60%) among individuals living with opioid use disorder (OUD). The co-occurrence of PTSD and OUD is an urgent public health priority given higher rates of opioid overdose, more chronic and severe patterns of opioid use, and poorer response to OUD treatment than is seen among individuals with OUD alone. Although the co-occurrence of PTSD and OUD is associated with devastating consequences, there is a significant gap in our understanding of the nature of OUD among individuals with versus without PTSD. This information is critical to informing efforts for preventing and responding to the opioid epidemic. The goal of this research is to examine the feasibility and acceptability of an ecological momentary assessment methodology among community individuals who have co-occurring PTSD and OUD. By doing so, it will inform future research on the association of PTSD and opioid outcomes (cravings, use, problems, overdose) among community members who misuse opioids.
Complete list of published work in MyBibliography:
PTSD, Negative and Positive Emotion Dysfunction, and Substance Use in IPV Victims
The major goals of this project are to examine the contributions of negative and positive emotion dysfunction to PTSD symptoms and related substance use and risky sex among IPV victims.
Pending Research Support: 5 R01 AA 027998 (Weiss)
7/1/2020 – 6/30/2025
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Use: An Evaluation of the Up- and Down-Regulation of Positive Emotion
The major goals of this project are to examine the extent to which alcohol is used to up- and down-regulate positive emotions among trauma-exposed alcohol users with and without PTSD.
5 R01 DA 050605 (Weiss)
7/1/2020 – 6/30/2025 5.3 calendar
Co-occurrence of PTSD and Opioid Misuse: Delineating Affective Predictors
The major goals of this project are to examine objective (speech, physiology) and subjective (EMA) indices of affect as predictors of opioid misuse among trauma-exposed individuals with and without PTSD.
3 R34 AA 028587 (Weiss & Spillane)
7/1/2020 – 6/30/2025 3 calendar
Development of a Culturally Grounded, Trauma-informed Alcohol Intervention with a Reserve-dwelling First Nation Group
The major goals of this project are to develop and provide preliminary evidence of a trauma-informed alcohol intervention for a First Nation group.
Rhode Island Hospital
1125 N Main Street, Suite 215
Providence, RI 02906