Faculty Profile: Christopher Kahler, PHD

Christopher Kahler
Christopher Kahler, PHD
Professor and Chair
Behavior and Social Sciences, School of Public Health
Work: +1 401-863-6651
My work has focused (a) the contribution of personality, psychiatric conditions, and emotional processes to the causes and treatment of alcohol and tobacco addiction, (b) methods for assessing alcohol use, problems, and dependence, and (c) the etiology and treatment of the co-use of alcohol and tobacco. My most recent research examines the application of positive psychotherapy to smoking cessation and a brief alcohol intervention for HIV-infected heavy drinking men who have sex with men.

Biography

Brief Bio

Christopher W. Kahler, PhD-Professor
Dr. Kahler is Professor and Chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences in the Brown University School of Public Health. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1998 from Rutgers University and joined the Brown Medical School faculty that year. Dr. Kahler's work focuses on (a) the role of personality and emotion in heavy alcohol use and smoking, (b) the etiology and treatment of combined heavy drinking and smoking, and (c) the role of alcohol in the treatment of HIV infection. He is currently the Principal Investigator on an NIAAA-funded laboratory study on alcohol administration and smoking relapse risk, an NIAAA-funded randomized clinical trial of naltrexone for at-risk and problem drinkers seeking smoking cessation treatment, and an NCI-funded treatment development project to adapt Positive Psychotherapy for use in smoking cessation treatment with low positive affect smokers. He is the Scientific Director of the NIAAA-funded Alcohol Research Center on HIV (ARCH) and is PI of a major research component evaluating a brief alcohol intervention in a primary care setting for HIV-infected men who have sex with men. He is also PI of an NIAAA-funded U24 grant to examine mechanisms of behavior change in alcohol-HIV intervention. His recent publications focus on (a) association among alcohol use, depressive symptoms, and smoking cessation outcomes, (b) development of a positive psychology intervention for smoking cessation, and (c) the effects of alcohol and individual differences in distress tolerance on a lab-based analogue of smoking relapse.

Institutions

Bh

Research Description

Christopher Kahler's work has focused on three primary topics: (a) the contribution of personality, psychiatric conditions, and emotional processes to the causes and treatment of alcohol and tobacco addiction, (b) methods for assessing alcohol use, problems, and dependence, and (c) the etiology and treatment of the co-use of alcohol and tobacco. He has published extensively in these and other areas with over 165 peer-reviewed publications to date. His most recent publications focus on changes in depressive symptoms following smoking cessation, the measurement of alcohol use and problems, relations between smoking, personality and psychopathology, and the treatment of heavy alcohol use in the context of smoking cessation treatment. He is currently conducting an NIAAA-funded laboratory study that investigates cognitive, affective, and behavioral mechanisms through which alcohol, when consumed in the lab, contributes to difficulties in delaying smoking when delaying smoking is rewarded with money. He is also conducting a randomized clinical trial comparing naltrexone to placebo among at-risk and problem drinkers seeking smoking cessation treatment. The study tests the hypotheses that naltrexone, when added to nicotine patch and a smoking cessation treatment that incorporates a brief alcohol intervention, will result in a lower percentage of heavy drinking days and a greater odds of smoking abstinence compared to placebo. He is conducting a developmental trial to test the efficacy of incorporating positive psychotherapy into smoking cessation treatment. He is Scientific Director of the Alcohol Research Center on HIV, in which he is conducting a randomized clinical trial to test the effects of brief alcohol intervention on drinking and HIV-related outcomes among MSM in an HIV primary care clinic. He also is PI of a NIAAA-funded resource core that is coding audiotapes of intervention sessions to better understand how change in alcohol and related HIV-risk behavior come about.

Grants and Awards

Leon A. Greenberg Memorial Award: Center of Alcohol Studies, Rutgers University, 1998

Fellow, American Psychological Association, 2012-present
Fellow, Division 50 (Addictions), 2012-present

Affiliations

American Psychological Association, 1993 - present
Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (formerly known as the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy), 1993 - present
Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 1999 – present
Research Society on Alcoholism, 2000-present

Funded Research

CURRENT GRANTS
1. Principal Investigator
"Mechanisms of Behavior Change Resource Core for Alcohol-HIV Interventions"
Agency: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Type: U24 (AA022003); Period: 9/20/12-8/31/16
Total direct costs: $1,719,244; Total indirect costs: $968,655

2. Principal Investigator
"Naltrexone for At-Risk and Problem Drinking in Smoking Cessation Treatment"
Agency: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Type: R01 (AA017181); Period: 6/20/09-3/31/14
Total direct costs: $2,000,805; Total indirect costs: $1,172,355

3. Principal Investigator
"Mechanisms Linking Alcohol Use and Smoking Relapse Risk"
Agency: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Type: R01 (AA016978); Period: 4/1/08-9/30/13
Total direct costs: $1,221,901; Total indirect costs: $720,021

4. Scientific Director and Research Component PI
"Alcohol and HIV: Biobehavioral Interactions and Intervention"
PI, Research Component 2: "Brief Alcohol Intervention for HIV-Infected MSM in a Primary Care Setting"
Principal Investigator: Peter Monti
Agency: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Type: P01 (AA019072); Period: 9/30/10-8/31/15
Total direct costs: $6,087,800; Total indirect costs: $1,305,707

5. Principal Investigator
"Development of Positive Psychotherapy for Smoking Cessation"
Agency: National Cancer Institute
Type: R01 (CA156241); Period: 1/1/11-12/31/13
Total direct costs: $403,281; Total indirect costs: $244,435

6. Co-Investigator
"Initiation and Progression through Early Drinking Milestones in Underage Drinkers"
Principal Investigator: Kristina Jackson
Agency: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Type: R01 (AA16838); Period: 9/1/08-8/31/13
Total costs: $3,675,000

7. Co-Investigator
"Negative Affect, Urges and Distress Tolerance, Effects on Cognition in AUDs"
Principal Investigator: Travis Cook
Agency: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Type: R01 (AA018129); Period: 09/01/10-08/31/14
Total direct costs: $972,176; Total indirect costs: $571,129

8. Co-Investigator
"Brief Interventions in the Emergency Department for Alcohol and HIV/Sexual Risk"
Principal Investigator: Peter Monti
Agency: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Type: 2R01 AA009892; Period: 9/1/10-8/31/15
Total direct costs (year 1): $ $498,733; Total costs (year 1): $785,134

9. Co-Investigator
"Brief computer intervention to motivate quitline use for smokers in SUD treatment"

Principal Investigator: Richard A. Brown, Ph.D.
Agency: National Institute of Drug Abuse
Type: 1R34DA034312-01; Period: 9/1/2012-7/31/2014
Total costs: $595,557

10. Co-Investigator
"Minority Populations Resource Core"
Principal Investigator: Don Operario
Agency: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Type: U24 (AA022000); Period: 9/1/12-8/31/16
Total direct costs: $1,256,409; Total indirect costs: $668,246

Teaching Experience

Applied Multiple Regression Analysis for Behavioral Sciences
Multilevel Modeling for Behavioral Sciences
Comorbidity of Alcohol and Smoking
Alcoholics Anonymous and Other 12-Step Programs

Courses Taught

  • Quantitative Methods for Behavioral and Social Sciences Intervention Research (PHP2390)

Selected Publications

  • Kahler, C.W., Spillane, N.S., Day, A., Clerkin, E.M., Parks, A., Leventhal, A.M., & Brown, R.A. (in press). Positive psychotherapy for smoking cessation: Treatment development, feasibility and preliminary results. Journal of Positive Psychology. (IN PRESS)
  • Kahler, C. W., McHugh, R. K., Metrik, J., Spillane, N. S., & Rohsenow, D. J. (2013). Breath holding duration and self-reported smoking abstinence intolerance as predictors of smoking lapse behavior in a laboratory analog task. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 6, 1151-1154. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nts231 (2013)
  • Kahler, C.W., Metrik, J., Spillane, N.S., Leventhal, A.M., McKee, S.A., Tidey, J.W., McGeary, J.E., & Knopik, V.S., & Rohsenow, D.J. (2012). Sex differences in stimulus expectancy and pharmacologic effects of a moderate dose of alcohol on smoking lapse risk in a laboratory analogue study. Psychopharmacology, 222, 71-80. (2012)
  • Kahler, C.W., McHugh, R.K., Leventhal, A.M., Colby, S.M., Gwaltney, C.J., & Monti, P.M. (2012). High hostility among smokers predicts slower recognition of positive facial emotion. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 444-448. (2012)
  • Kahler, C. W., Spillane, N. S., Busch, A. M., & Leventhal, A. M. (2011). Time-varying smoking abstinence predicts lower depressive symptoms following smoking cessation treatment. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 13, 146-150. (2011)
  • Kahler, C.W., Spillane, N.S., & Metrik, J. (2010). Alcohol use and initial smoking lapses among heavy drinkers in smoking cessation treatment. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 12, 781-785. (2010)
  • Kahler, C.W., Borland, R., Hyland, A., McKee, S.A., O’Connor, R.J., Fong, G.T., & Cummings, K.M. (2010). Quitting smoking and change in alcohol consumption in the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 110, 101-107. (2010)
  • Kahler, C.W., Leventhal, A.M., Daughters, S.B., Clark, M.A., Colby, S.M., Ramsey, S.E., Boergers, J., Abrams, D.B., Niaura, R., & Buka, S.L. (2010). Relationships of personality and psychiatric disorders to multiple domains of smoking motives and dependence in middle-aged adults. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 12, 381-389. (2010)
  • Kahler, C.W., Spillane, N.S., Leventhal, A.M., Strong, D.R., Brown, R.A., and Monti, P.M. (2009). Hostility and smoking cessation treatment outcome in heavy social drinkers. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 23, 67-76. (2009)
  • Kahler, C.W., Spillane, N.S., Metrik, J., Leventhal, A.M., & Monti, P.M. (2009). Sensation seeking as a predictor of treatment compliance and smoking cessation treatment outcomes in heavy social drinkers. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 93, 285-290. (2009)
  • Kahler, C.W., Daughters, S.B., Leventhal, A.M., Rogers, M.L., Clark, M.A., Colby, S.M., Boergers, J., Ramsey, S.E., Abrams, D.B., Niaura, R., & Buka, S.L. (2009). Personality, psychiatric disorders, and smoking in middle-aged adults. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 11, 833-841. (2009)
  • Kahler, C.W., Hoeppner, B.B., & Jackson, K.M. (2009). A Rasch model analysis of alcohol consumption and problems across adolescence and young adulthood. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 33, 663-673. (2009)
  • Kahler, C.W., Borland, R., Hyland, A., McKee, S.A., Thompson, M.E., & Cummings, K.M. (2009). Alcohol consumption and quitting smoking in the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 100, 214-220. (2009)
  • Kahler, C.W., Leventhal, A.M., Colby, S.M., Gwaltney, C.J., Kamarck, T.W., & Monti, P.M. (2009). Hostility, cigarette smoking, and responses to a lab-based social stressor. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 17, 413-424. (2009)
  • Kahler, C.W., Hustad, J., Barnett, N.P., Strong, D.R., & Borsari, B. (2008). Validation of the 30-day version of the Brief Young Adult Alcohol Consequences Questionnaire for use in longitudinal studies. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 69, 611-615. (2008)
  • Kahler, C.W., Metrik, J., LaChance, H.R., Ramsey, S.E., Abrams, D.B., Monti, P.M.,& Brown, R.A. (2008). Addressing heavy drinking in smoking cessation treatment: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 852-862. (2008)
  • Kahler, C.W., Strong, D.R., Papandonatos, G.D., Colby, S.M., Clark, M.A., Boergers, J., Niaura, R., Abrams, D.B., & Buka, S.L. (2008). Cigarette smoking and the lifetime alcohol involvement continuum. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 93, 111-120. (2008)
  • Kahler, C.W., LaChance, H.R., Strong, D.R., Ramsey, S.E., Monti, P.M., & Brown, R.A. (2007). The commitment to quitting smoking scale: Initial validation in a smoking cessation trial for heavy social drinkers. Addictive Behaviors, 32, 2420-2424. (2007)
  • Kahler, C.W., Daughters, S.B., Leventhal, A.M., Gwaltney, C.J., & Palfai, T.P. (2007). Implicit associations between smoking and social consequences among smokers in cessation treatment. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45, 2066-2077. (2007)
  • Kahler, C.W., Kelly, J.F., Strong, D.R., Stuart, G.L., & Brown, R.A. (2006). Development and initial validation of a 12-step participation expectancies questionnaire. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 67, 538-542. (2006)
  • Kahler, C.W., & Strong, D.R. (2006). A Rasch model analysis of DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence items in the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 30, 1165-1175. (2006)
  • Kahler, C.W., Strong, D.R., & Read, J.P. (2005). Towards efficient and comprehensive measurement of the alcohol problems continuum in college students: The Brief Young Adult Alcohol Consequences Questionnaire. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 29, 1180-1189. (2005)
  • Kahler, C. W., Strong, D. R., Read, J. P., Palfai, T. P., & Wood, M. D. (2004). Mapping the continuum of alcohol problems in college students: A Rasch model analysis. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 18, 322-333. (2004)
  • Kahler, C.W., Strong, D.R., Niaura, R., & Brown, R.A. (2004). Hostility in smokers with past major depressive disorder: Relation to smoking patterns, reasons for quitting, and cessation outcomes. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 6, 809-818. (2004)
  • Kahler, C. W., Read, J. P., Stuart, G. L., Ramsey, S. E., McCrady, B. S., & Brown, R. A. (2004). Motivational enhancement for 12-step involvement among patients undergoing alcohol detoxification. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72, 736-741. (2004)
  • Kahler, C. W., Strong, D. R., Stuart, G.L., Moore, T.M., & Ramsey, S.E. (2003). Item functioning of the Alcohol Dependence Scale in a high-risk sample. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 72, 183-192. (2003)
  • Kahler, C. W., Read, J. P., Wood, M. D., & Palfai, T. P. (2003). Social environmental selection as a mediator of gender, ethnic, and personality effects on college student drinking. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 17, 226-234. (2003)
  • Kahler, C. W., Strong, D. R., Hayaki, J., Ramsey, S. E., & Brown, R. A. (2003). An item response analysis of the Alcohol Dependence Scale in treatment-seeking alcoholics. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 64, 127-136. (2003)
  • Kahler, C.W., Brown, R.A., Ramsey, S. E., Niaura, R., Abrams, D. B., Goldstein, M. G., Mueller, T. I., & Miller, I. W. (2002). Negative mood, depressive symptoms, and major depression after smoking cessation treatment in smokers with a history of major depressive disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 4, 670-675. (2002)