Current Projects

The HABITS Lab at UMBC is currently working on a variety of projects. Each project is at various stages of progress, anywhere from the planning stages through data analyses. Our current projects as well as previous lab projects are described in this section of the website. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions about the projects listed here.

MDQuit Resource Center

The Maryland Resource Center for Quitting Use & Initiation of Tobacco (MDQuit) is Maryland’s resource center aimed at linking professionals and providers to state tobacco initiatives, providing evidence-based, effective resources and tools to local programs, creating and supporting an extensive, collaborative network of tobacco prevention and cessation professionals, and providing a forum for sharing best practices throughout the state of Maryland. To visit the website of the MDQuit Resource Center, click here.

MDQuit is funded by the Maryland Department of Health (DoH), within the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration’s (PHPA) Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control and is located on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).  MDQuit previously has funding from Pfizer to implement two projects: the first addressing smoking cessation within Medicaid populations and the second addressing smoking cessation within behavioral health populations.

Additionally, MDQuit has funding from the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) to support a comprehensive program for tobacco cessation and prevention among behavioral health agencies, providers, and clients who use tobacco. As a result, MDQuit will continue to provide support for the training of providers, staff and administration to implement the “Breaking the Habit in Behavioral Health (BH2)” tobacco cessation curriculum; to read more about this training and register, visit this page. Overall, MDQuit will aim to provide capacity building and cross-agency collaborations to promote tobacco cessation for agencies, providers, clients, along with the support of community members.

Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program

UMBC’s Home Visiting Training Center and Certificate Program is supported by funding from HRSA through the Maryland MIECHV (Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting) program at DHMH. To support the goals of home visiting programs throughout the state, the Psychology Department at UMBC is developing training curricula and support systems that will enhance current training and address the many task demands and needs of home visitors. The first phase in developing the Home Visitor Training Certificate Program includes reviewing research and best practices nationally, gathering input from local program administrators and staff, and conducting focus groups and interviews with home visitors and program supervisors. This information is guiding the development of training curricula in the areas of child development and behavior management, parent training, relationship health, substance abuse, mental health, cultural sensitivity, and motivational communication. The second phase of this project is to implement trainings with home visitors, evaluate the trainings and to build an online video library to supplement in-person trainings. The goal is to develop home visitor knowledge, skills, and confidence to achieve the goals of the MIECHV program: the health and well-being of mothers and children. Several faculty members, students, and labs in the Psychology Department at UMBC are involved with this project. The HABITS lab is particularly involved in the motivational communication, substance use and evaluation aspects. Visit the project website for additional information.

Past Projects

Center For Community Collaboration

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Psychology Department Center for Community Collaboration (CCC) was established in 2004 as a university-community partnership. The mission is to provide capacity building services to direct care service agencies. Ultimately, the goal is to help agencies improve their services for individuals at risk or impacted by HIV/AIDS with multiple diagnoses related to substance use, mental illness, and other infectious diseases. Using a Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Treatment (SBIRT) framework the CCC helps identify programs’ Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) needs and provide relevant trainings to enhance their quality of care in these areas. For more information and current projects of the CCC, please visit our center website.

Beginning in 2012, the Infectious Disease Bureau (IDB) within the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration (PHPA) at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the CCC, along with a number of collaborating agencies within the Baltimore area began working to expand efforts toward integrated screening, referral network development, and capacity building for mental health, substance use, sexual health, and infectious disease prevention and treatment; this was referred to as the “No Wrong Door” (NWD) project. The “no wrong door” concept continues today as these efforts have helped to increase opportunities for individuals who are at risk or suffering from a mental illness, substance use disorder and/or HIV/AIDS to access and receive integrated treatment and care regardless of where they enter the public health system of care. The NWD project concluded in 2015, but the work of the IDB and CCC, along with the many collaborating partners continued with an expansion of this work.

Currently, the CCC is working with the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) to equip peer navigators, PrEP specialists, linkage to care workers, and a variety of other providers and agencies throughout the City to address the disproportionate number of young, African American, same-gender loving men affected by HIV.

The Social Work SBIRT Project

The HABITS Lab is currently assisting with the evaluation component of a collaborative training project with the University of Maryland Baltimore, the Social Work SBIRT Project, funded for three years by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This project is aimed at developing a comprehensive and innovative training curriculum for Social Work students in Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment (SBIRT). The goal of the study is to train MSW students to conduct SBIRT with individuals who misuse, abuse or are dependent on substances including illegal drugs, prescription medications, alcohol, and tobacco. Please visit the project website for additional information.

MD3- Maryland MDs Making A Difference

The HABITS Lab worked on a collaborative five-year training grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration with the University of Maryland, Baltimore aimed at developing a comprehensive and innovative residency training curriculum for Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment (SBIRT) of individuals who misuse, abuse or are dependent on substances including illegal drugs, prescription medications, alcohol, and tobacco. In the early stages of this project, we were responsible for the development of training curricula and evaluation measures of the residents’ knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes concerning work with persons with addiction issues presenting for medical treatment. Then, the curricula was established as an integrated part of the various residency programs. Additionally, the training was implemented and disseminated to other medical systems in the greater Baltimore area. The HABITS lab has also been involved in work on sustainability efforts, faculty training initiatives, data management and analysis, and preparation of manuscripts disseminating results. Please visit the project website for additional information.

Prevention Research Institute

Prevention Research Institute, Inc. (PRI) is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce the incidence of alcohol- and drug-related problems throughout the world. To this end, PRI has developed several research-based, protocol-driven prevention and treatment programs based on the Lifestyle Risk Reduction model, the Transtheoretical Model, and persuasion theory. PRI’s signature program, PRIME For Life, has been used for universal, selected, and indicated prevention and has been widely adopted as an intervention for impaired driving offenders. Dr. Carlo DiClemente has been a consultant for PRI since 2009 and was instrumental in the development of PRIME Solutions, a substance abuse treatment program for use in a variety of settings. Graduate students in the HABITS lab have been involved in the evaluation of PRIME Solutions, PRIME For Life, and other programs and initiatives developed by PRI.

Project ACTION

The HABITS Lab was previously funded on a research study called Project Action.  This project explored the personal mechanisms of change individuals use when modifying their drinking behavior.  Project Action was designed to increase the effectiveness of treatment of alcohol use disorders by creating and evaluating a personal process assessment battery. The project aimed to determine how measures of personal process change variables relate to one another and how these variables relate to changes in drinking behavior over time in patients undergoing treatment for alcohol problems. Data collection is complete and analyses are ongoing.