Tracey Garcia McCue

My area of research broadly focuses on the examination of self, context, and how these affect risk behavior and related consequences among adolescents and young adults. Aspects of the self, such as identity, ethnicity, and gender have been found to modify or intensify alcohol use, alcohol-related consequences, and other risk behavior. Research with adolescents and young adults has also indicated that risk behavior may occur from reacting to environment. Thus, I seek to understand not only the individual characteristics associated with health risk behavior, but also how situations can modify individual decision making. My program of research seeks to examine the intersection of self and situation/context using multiple methods of inquiry; including experimental and laboratory based methods, methods focused on etiology and prevention, and both cross-sectional and longitudinal designs. Through the uncovering of how individuals’ decision making processes are shaped by aspects of themselves and the situation/context, we can further refine our knowledge on risk and protective factors. With this information, we can inform prevention and intervention efforts, possibly making them more nuanced and ultimately more efficacious.

In addition to my etiological work, my work in prevention has focused on individual and group level factors that affect both school-based and individual behavioral interventions utilizing motivational interviewing/ motivational enhancement techniques. For example, some of my work has focused on how individual characteristics (e.g., gender or ethnicity) interact with situational/contextual aspects (e.g., group or school) to affect recruitment/retention, group process, and subsequently change or maintenance of substance use.

Students who are interested in any of these topics are welcome to come by my office or contact me via email or phone. I am also an advisor to the MSU chapter of Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology. Students interested in applying for membership can do so here: Psi Chi membership.

In addition to the topics listed and the research listed in my vitae, here are some examples of projects I have worked on with students, which were accepted as poster presentations at various conferences:

  • Examining how coping, social, and enhancement drinking motives relate to drinking alone or with friends among young adults

  • Evaluating associations between marijuana use and considerations of immediate rewards and future consequences among young adults

  • Therapeutic alliance and participant satisfaction in a school-based group alcohol intervention program

  • Drinking to cope and social anxiety in a minority population

  • Social experiences and life satisfaction in the early college years

  • Expectations, evaluations, and their role with social anxiety

View Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

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