Melissa A. Lewis, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Lewis received her doctorate in Health and Social Psychology from North Dakota State University in 2005 and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington’s Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors in 2007. Dr. Lewis has been a member of the faculty at the University of Washington since 2007. Dr. Lewis’ substantive research interests lie in examining social psychological principles in broadly defined health-related behaviors. She studies social and motivational mechanisms involved in etiology and prevention of addictive and high-risk behaviors (e.g., drinking, risky sexual behavior, hooking up). She has particular expertise in personalized feedback interventions aimed at reducing drinking and related risky sexual behavior. Mechanisms in which she is interested include normative perceptions and protective behavioral strategies. Dr. Lewis also explores who might be more prone to take part in high-risk health behaviors, such as those who are more sensitive to social pressures. A fundamental assumption of her research is that because social pressures and influences have been consistently and strongly implicated in risky health behaviors, especially among young adults, interventions aiming to reduce susceptibility to these influences hold particular promise. Dr. Lewis has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. She has previously been awarded the Addictive Behaviors Special Interest Group Early Career Award of the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies, a Division 50 of the American Psychological Association Early Career Presentation Award, and two early career poster travel awards from Division 50 of the American Psychological Association and NIAAA. She has received grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, and the Alcohol Beverage Medical Research Foundation.
Lewis, M. A., Atkins, D. C., Blayney, J. A., Dent, D. V., Kaysen, D. L. (2012). What is hooking up? Examining definitions of hooking up in relation to hooking up behavior and normative perceptions. Journal of Sex Research, 1-10.
Lewis, M. A., Litt, D. M., Cronce, J. M., Blayney, J. A., & Gilmore, A. K. (2012). Underestimating protection and overestimating risk: Examining descriptive normative perceptions and their association with drinking and sexual behaviors. Journal of Sex Research, 1-11.
Lewis, M. A., Patrick, M. E., Lee, C. M., Kaysen, D. L., Mittman, A., & Neighbors, C. (2012). Use of protective behavioral strategies and their association to 21st birthday alcohol consumption and related negative consequences: A between- and within-person evaluation. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26, 179-186.
Lewis, M. A., Litt, D. M., Blayney, J. A., Lostutter, T. W., Granato, H., Kilmer, J. R., & Lee, C. M. (2011). They drink how much and where?: Normative perceptions by drinking contexts and their association to college student’s alcohol consumption. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 844-853.
Lewis, M. A., Granato, H., Blayney, J. A., Lostutter, T. W., & Kilmer, J. R. (2011). Predictors of hooking up sexual behaviors and emotional reactions among US college students. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1-11.
Lewis, M. A., Neighbors, C., Geisner, I. M., Lee, C. M., Kilmer, J. R. & Atkins, D. C. (2010). Examining the relationship between severity of injunctive drinking norms and alcohol-related problems: The roles of alcohol consumption and identity. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24, 177-189.
Lewis, M. A., & Neighbors, C. (2007). Optimizing personalized normative feedback: The use of gender-specific referents. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 68, 228-237.
Lewis, M. A., Neighbors, C., Oster-Aaland, L., Kirkeby, B. S., & Larimer, M. E. (2007). Indicated prevention for incoming freshmen: Personalized feedback and high-risk drinking. Addictive Behaviors, 32, 2495-2508.
Past Research Grants:
Personalized Alcohol and Related Risky Sexual Behavior Feedback Intervention Project