Bethany C. Bray , Ph.D.

Dr. Dougherty

Assistant Professor

Department of Psychology

Biographical Sketch


Dr. Bray is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech.  She is a statistician with expertise in contemporary approaches to the analyses and interpretation of longitudinal data. Her interest is specifically in the area of substance use development and its reciprocal interactions with other risk factors. Dr. Bray was trained was trained by Dr. Linda Collins at Penn State University Methodology Center. Penn State's University Methodology Center is a NIH/SSF funded center for the dissemination of cutting-edge statistical and methodological issues pertinent to prospective studies of substance use prevention and treatment research. Dr. Bray has worked closely with the NRLC in the design and analyses of data related to prospective development of problems with drug use involvement among at-risk youth.



2000 B.S. Mathematics University of Michigan, Dearborn, MI
2005 M.S. Human Development and Family Studies Penn State University, State College, PA
2006 M.A.S. Applied Statistics Penn State University, State College, PA
2007 Ph.D. Human Development and Family Studies Penn State University, State College, PA

Collaborative Projects with the NRLC

Consequences of Adolescent Substance Use on the Development of Impulse Control
Principal Investigator Donald M. Dougherty, Ph.D. 
This study will help determine how individual differences in impulse control and other risk factors contribute to adolescent substance use, and how substance use may prevent normal development of impulse control. It will also promote understanding of why some adolescents go on to substance use disorders, while others do not. The findings from this study will provide important information to aid our National efforts of continuing to improve prevention and treatment programs.

Relating Brain Maturation to Impulse Control and Substance Use Development


Principal Investigator: Ashley Acheson, Ph.D.

The objectives of this study are to identify relationships between maturation of frontostriatal circuitry, impulse control development, and progression of substance use involvement across adolescence. This proposal integrates distinct bodies of research on brain development, adolescent behavior, and substance abuse to advance understanding of risks and consequences of adolescent substance use. This work has important implications for advancing knowledge, and ultimately may contribute to more effective treatment and prevention strategies for adolescent substance use disorders.

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