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Robert  Schlauch

Robert Schlauch

Robert Schlauch
Assistant Professor


Office: PCD 4120
Phone: 813/974-4767



Postdoctoral Fellow (T32), Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, 2010-2013
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Florida State University, 2010
Clinical Internship, Division of Substance Abuse, Yale School of Medicine, 2009-2010
M.A. Clinical Psychology, Florida State University, 2007
B.A. Psychology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2002


Research Interests:

My research interests focus broadly in understanding the role of individual differences in alcohol and drug use behavior. Specifically, I am interested in applying multidisciplinary approaches to the study of: a) processes associated with positive treatment outcomes, with a particular emphasis on craving and pretreatment change, b) risk factors for the development of substance use disorders (SUDs), including positive and negative reinforcement pathways to use, c) the interplay between substance use, comorbid disorders, personality, and aggression, including intimate partner violence, and d) the moderating role of individual difference variables in alcohol related disinhibited behaviors. Related to my work on craving, I am also interested (in collaboration with Dr. Diana Rancourt) in the applicability of craving as a transdiagnostic construct for disordered eating and compensatory behaviors. Secondary interests include methodological issues in clinical science broadly, and substance use research specifically.

Current Projects:

Ambivalence Model of Craving: Re-examining the craving-drinking relationship (funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; NIAAA).  In this 5-year Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) we are examining the incremental and predictive validity of measuring craving experiences as the concurrent activation of both approach (desires to use) and avoidance inclinations (desires to not use).  Utilizing both clinical trial and daily process methodology, this study will examine the dynamic longitudinal relationships between daily approach and avoidance inclinations and drinking behaviors in those diagnosed with alcohol use disorders prior to (30-day pretreatment interval), during (30-day treatment interval), and after receiving a brief alcohol intervention (30-day post-treatment interval). In addition, the study will examine how these processes change over the course of recovery, including their influence on treatment initiation and treatment retention.

Influence of Pretreatment Changes on Mechanism of Change Research. In this program of research, my colleagues and I are conducting secondary analyses of numerous treatment outcome datasets to examine the influence of pretreatment changes in drinking behavior on mechanisms of change research.  Preliminary data on pretreatment change suggests that approximately 50% of those seeking treatment for alcohol dependence rapidly decrease their drinking prior to beginning treatment and then maintain such changes throughout treatment.  Such findings challenge the assumption that “major changes” begin only after treatment entry and suggests that “treatment” is only part of a process that begins weeks or months prior to treatment entry, significantly impacting the study of mechanisms of change.

Craving and Disordered Eating/Compensatory Behaviors: In this program of research, in collaboration with Dr. Diana Rancourt, we are examining the applicability of craving to serve as a transdiagnostic construct for disordered eating and compensatory behaviors. Specifically, we have been applying several theoretical models of craving from the substance use literature to better understand problematic behaviors associated with eating disorders, including the Ambivalence Model of Craving (i.e., approach and avoidance inclinations).

Event Related Potential Correlates of Impulsivity and Sensation-Seeking.  In this program of research my colleagues and I are examining the neurobiological mechanisms (i.e., event-related potentials; ERPs) differentiating impulsivity and sensation-seeking personality traits, with a specific focus on indices of conflict monitoring, reward sensitivity, and boredom susceptibility.

Specialty Area


Honors and Award

2017 Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contribution Award (American Psychological Association, Division 50 – Society of Addictive Psychology)

Recent Publications

(*indicates undergraduate student, graduate student, or postdoctoral fellow)

*Noyes, E.T. & Schlauch, R.C. (in press). Examination of approach and avoidance inclinations on the reinforcing value of alcohol. Addictive Behaviors.

*Noyes, E.T., *Levine, J.A., Schlauch, R.C., Crane, C.A., Connors, G.J., Maisto, S.A., & Dearing, R.L. (in press). Impact of pretreatment change on mechanism of behavior change research: An applied example using alcohol abstinence self-efficacy. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

*Verzijl, C.L, *Lang, B., *Ahlich, E., Schlauch, R.C., & Rancourt, D. (in press). The role of craving in emotional and uncontrolled eating: A preliminary test and extension of cognitive processing model of alcohol craving. Appetite.

Molnar, D.S., Rancourt, D., Schlauch, R.C., Wen, X., Maiorana, N., Huestis, M., Eiden, R.D. (2017). Tobacco exposure and conditional weight-for-length-gain by 2 years of age. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 42, 679-688.

Connors, G.J., Maisto, S.A., Schlauch, R.C. , Dearing, R.L., Prince, M., & Duerr, M.R. (2016). Therapeutic alliances and drinking behavior over the course of treatment for alcohol dependence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 84, 972-982.

Schlauch, R.C. , Christensen, R.L., Derrick, J.L., Crane, C.A., & Collins, R.L. (2015). Individual Differences in Approach and Avoidance Inclinations Moderate the Effect of Self-Control Depletion on Ad-Lib Drinking. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 39, 2480-2488.

Schlauch, R.C. , *Rice, S.L., Connors, G.J., & Lang, A.R. (2015). Ambivalence Model of Craving: A latent profile analysis of cue-elicited alcohol craving in an inpatient clinical sample. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 76, 764-772.

Crane, C.A., Eckhardt, C.I., Schlauch, R.C. (2015). Motivational enhancement mitigates the effects of problematic alcohol use on treatment compliance among partner violent offenders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83, 689-695.

Schlauch, R.C. , *Crane, C.A., Houston, R.J., Molnar, D.S., *Schlienz, N.J. & Lang, A.R. (2015). Psychometric Evaluation of the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS) in an Inpatient Sample of Substance Users Using Cue Reactivity Methodology. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 37, 231-246.

Schlauch, R.C. , Levitt, A., Bradizza, C.M., Stasiewicz, P.R., Lucke, J.F., Maisto, S.A., Zhou, Y. & Connors, G.J. (2013). Alcohol Craving in Patients Diagnosed with a Severe Mental Illness and Alcohol Use Disorder: Bi-Directional Relationships between Approach and Avoidance Inclinations and Drinking. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81, 1087-1099.

Schlauch, R.C. , Levitt, A., Connell, C.M., & Kaufman, J.S. (2013). The Moderating effect of family involvement on substance use risk factors in adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral challenges. Addictive Behaviors, 38, 2333-2342.

Stasiewicz, P.R., Schlauch, R.C. , Bradizza, C.M., Bole, C.W., & Coffey, S.F. (2013). Pretreatment changes in drinking: Relationship to treatment outcomes. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27, 1159-1166.

Schlauch, R.C. , *Gwynn-Shapiro, D., Stasiewicz, P. R., Molnar, D.S., & Lang, A.R. (2013). Affect and craving: Positive and negative affect are differentially associated with approach and avoidance inclinations. Addictive Behaviors, 38, 1970-1979.

Schlauch, R. C. , Breiner, M. J., Stasiewicz, P.R., Christensen, R.L., & Lang, A. R. (2013). Women inmate substance abusers’ reactivity to visual alcohol, cigarette, marijuana, and crack cocaine cues: Approach and avoidance as separate reactivity dimensions. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 35, 45-56.

Schlauch, R.C., Stasiewicz, P.R., Bradizza, C.M., Gudleski, G.D., Coffey, S.F., & Gulliver, S.B. (2012). Relationship between approach and avoidance inclinations to use alcohol and treatment outcomes. Addictive Behaviors, 37, 824-830.

Schlauch, R.C., O’Malley, S.S., Rounsaville, B.J., & Ball, S.A. (2012). Internalizing and externalizing dimensions and alcohol use in first time DUI offenders: Indirect effects through coping self-efficacy. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26, 133-139.

Schlauch, R.C., Waesche, M.C., Riccardi, C.J., Christensen, R.L., Blagg, C.O., Donohue, K. F., & Lang, A.R. (2010). A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of placebo manipulations in alcohol-challenge studies. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24, 239-253.