Kenneth W. Griffin, PhD, MPH

Kenneth Griffin
Titles and Organizations

Professor, Public Health

Contact Information

Email: kgriff4@gmu.edu
Phone: 703-993-4032
Building: Peterson Hall
Room 5106

Personal Websites

Biography

Dr. Griffin is a Professor in the Department of Global & Community Health at George Mason University. His research focuses on health risk behaviors such as substance use and abuse (including prescription drugs and opioids), violence and aggression (including bullying and sexual violence) and related behaviors among children, adolescents, and young adults.

Dr. Griffin’s work focuses on several interrelated translational research areas that link science to practice:

  1. Psychosocial Etiology Research examining the individual, family, and community-level risk and protective factors for youth risk behaviors, focusing on social competence and self-regulation skills as protective factors; his work also focuses on understanding the determinants of well-being and other positive developmental and behavioral outcomes among young people; this research often uses state-of-the-science statistical modeling approaches (including structural equation and other latent variable techniques);
  2. Preventive Intervention Research that develops and adapts theoretically-informed educational and behavioral interventions to prevent risky health behaviors and promote positive developmental outcomes; this research rigorously tests preventive interventions first through formative evaluation strategies and then using randomized controlled trials (RCTs);
  3. Implementation Research that focuses on new strategies and technologies for preventing risky health behaviors and promoting health and well-being, incorporating the use of e-learning, educational games, and other technologies; as well as hybrid models that combine in-person and technology-based intervention, and strategies for adapting evidence-based prevention programs for new countries, cultures, settings, populations, and behaviors; and
  4. Dissemination Research that focuses on understanding and addressing the facilitators and barriers to the wide-scale dissemination of evidence-based health promotion interventions – locally, nationally, and internationally.

Dr. Griffin’s research has been supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Department of Defense. He has been Principal Investigator on 12 federal grants with over $10 million in total costs, and he has published over 140 peer-reviewed empirical papers and scholarly book chapters based on his research.

Research

Research Interests

  • Preventing Substance Abuse, Violence, and Related Risk Behaviors among Youth
  • Positive Youth Development as a Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy
  • Protective Role of Social and Self-Regulation Skills on Adolescent Risk Behavior
  • Digital and Hybrid Implementation of Evidence-Based Prevention Programs
  • Dissemination of Evidence-Based Prevention Programs for Domestic and International Settings
  • Family Environment, Parenting Practices, and Health/Developmental Outcomes of Youth
  • Health Disparities (Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Socioeconomic Status, LGBT)

Recent Grants

A High School Program to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse (Griffin, Williams)
Funding Source: NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse, R44 DA043273
Project Dates: 5/1/2017 - 4/30/2022

An Evidence-Based Approach for Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention (Williams)
Role on Project: Co-Investigator
Funding Source: NICHD, National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, R44 HD074319
Project Dates: 6/1/2017 - 5/30/2020

Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence among College Students
Role on Project: Principal Investigator
Funding Source: NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse, R44 DA039602
Project Dates: 5/1/2015 - 1/31/2020

Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse in Middle School Students
Role on Project: Principal Investigator
Funding Source: NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse, R44 DA040358
Project Dates: 9/15/2015 - 6/30/2019

Adapting a Life Skills Training Approach for Sexual Assault Prevention at the U.S. Air Force Academy Role on Project: Principal Investigator
Funding Source: U.S. Air Force, Department of Defense
Project Dates: 2/24/2017 - 2/23/2019

Testing a Multilevel Preventive Intervention in Youth Courts (Williams)
Role on Project: Co-Investigator
Funding Source: NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse, R34 DA034888
Project Dates: 9/15/2014 - 8/31/2018

An Evidence-Based Serious Game Approach for Bullying Prevention (Williams)
Role on Project: Investigator
Funding Source: NIH, National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, R43 HD074319
Project Dates: 6/1/2013 - 5/31/2015

Selected Publications

Griffin, K.W., Williams, C., Travis, W., & Tharp, A. (2021). Prevention of unwanted sexual contact among cadets at the United States Air Force Academy: A brief small-group intervention. American Journal of Public Healthhttps://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2020.306050

Griffin, K.W., Scheier, L. M., Komarc, M., & Botvin, G. J. (2021). Adolescent transitions in self-management strategies and young adult alcohol use. Evaluation & The Health Professionshttps://doi.org/10.1177%2F0163278720983432

Williams, C., Griffin, K. W., Mehta, R., & Botvin, G. J. (2021). Testing an evidence-based drug abuse and violence preventive approach adapted for youth in juvenile justice diversionary settings. Health & Justicehttps://doi.org/10.1186/s40352-021-00128-8

Scheier, L. M. & Griffin, K.W. (2021). Youth marijuana use: A review of causes and consequences. Current Opinion in Psychology, 38, 11-18.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2020.06.007

Griffin, K. W., Lowe, S. R., Botvin, C., & Acevedo, B. (2019). Patterns of adolescent tobacco and alcohol use as predictors of illicit and prescription drug abuse in minority young adults. Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 47, 228-242. https://doi.org/10.1080/10852352.2019.1603672

Botvin, G. J., Griffin, K. W., Botvin, C. M., Murphy, M., & Acevedo, B. P. (2018). Increasing implementation fidelity for school-based drug abuse prevention: Effectiveness of enhanced training and technical assistance.  Journal of the Society for Social Work & Research, 9, 599-613.  https://doi.org/10.1086/700972

Velasco, V., Griffin, K. W., Botvin, G. J., & Celata, C. (2017). Preventing adolescent substance use through an evidence-based program: Effects of the Italian adaptation of Life Skills Training. Prevention Science, 18, 394-405. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-017-0776-2

Griffin, K. W., Lowe, S. R., Acevedo, B. & Botvin, G. J. (2015). Affective self-regulation trajectories during secondary school predict substance use among urban minority young adults. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 24, 228-234. https://doi.org/10.1080/1067828X.2013.812530

Velasco, V., Griffin, K. W., Antichi, M., & Celata, C. (2015). A large-scale initiative to disseminate an evidence-based drug abuse prevention program in Italy: Lessons learned for practitioners and researchers. Evaluation & Program Planning, 52, 27-38.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2015.03.002

Botvin, G. J., & Griffin, K. W. (2014). Life Skills Training: Preventing substance misuse by enhancing individual and social competence. Special Issue: Theory-based approaches to substance misuse prevention in school. New Directions for Youth Development, 2014, 57-65. https://doi.org/10.1002/yd.20086

Botvin, G. J., & Griffin, K. W. (2014). Toward the development of preventive interventions to reduce high risk sexual behaviors, HIV/AIDS, and multiple problem behaviors. Prevention Science, 15(S1), 81-83. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-014-0461-7

Espada, J. P., Griffin, K. W., Pereira, J. R., Orgilés, M., & García-Fernández. J. M. (2012). Component analysis of a school-based substance use prevention program in Spain: Contributions of problem solving and social skills training content. Prevention Science, 13, 86-95.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-011-0249-y

Griffin, K. W., Scheier, L. M., Acevedo, B., Grenard, J., & Botvin, G. J. (2012). Long-term effects of self-control on alcohol use and sexual behavior among urban minority young women. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9, 1-23. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph9010001

Griffin, K. W., Samuolis, J., & Williams, C. (2011). Efficacy of a self-administered home-based parent intervention on parenting behaviors for preventing adolescent substance use. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 20, 319-325. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-010-9395-2  

Rafferty, Y., Griffin, K. W., & Robokos, D. (2010). Maternal depression and parental distress among families in the Early Head Start research and evaluation project: Risk factors within the family setting. Infant Mental Health Journal, 31, 543–569. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.20271   

Griffin, K. W., Bang, H., & Botvin, G. J. (2010). Age of alcohol and marijuana use onset and weekly substance use and related psychosocial problems during young adulthood. Journal of Substance Use, 15, 174-183. https://doi.org/10.3109/14659890903013109    

Griffin, K. W., & Botvin, G. J. (2010). Evidence-based interventions for preventing substance use disorders in adolescents. Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 19, 505-525. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chc.2010.03.005

Griffin, K. W., Botvin, G. J., & Scheier, L. M. (2006). Racial/ethnic differences in the protective effects of self-management skills on adolescent substance use. Substance Abuse, 27, 47-52. https://doi.org/10.1300/J465v27n01_06

Griffin, K. W., Botvin, G. J., & Nichols, T. R. (2006). Effects of a school-based drug abuse prevention program for adolescents on HIV risk behaviors in young adulthood. Prevention Science, 7, 103-112. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-006-0025-6   

Griffin, K. W., Botvin, G. J., & Nichols, T. R. (2004). Long-term follow-up effects of a school-based drug abuse prevention program on adolescent risky driving. Prevention Science, 5, 207-212. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:PREV.0000037643.78420.74

Botvin, G. J., & Griffin, K. W. (2004). Life Skills Training: Empirical findings and future directions. Journal of Primary Prevention, 25, 211-232. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOPP.0000042391.58573.5b  

Griffin, K. W., Botvin, G. J., Nichols, T. R., & Scheier, L. M. (2004). Low perceived chances for success in life and binge drinking among inner-city minority youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 34, 501-507.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2003.07.026

Botvin, G. J., Griffin, K. W., Paul, E., & Macaulay, A. P. (2003). Preventing tobacco and alcohol use among elementary school students through Life Skills Training. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 12, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1300/J029v12n04_01   

Griffin, K. W., Botvin, G. J., Scheier, L. M., Doyle, M. M., & Williams, C. (2003). Common predictors of cigarette smoking, alcohol use, aggression, and delinquency among inner-city minority youth. Addictive Behaviors, 28, 1141-1148. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0306-4603(02)00225-3

Griffin, K. W., Botvin, G. J., Nichols, T. R., & Doyle, M. M. (2003). Effectiveness of a universal drug abuse prevention approach for youth at high risk for substance use initiation. Preventive Medicine, 36, 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1006/pmed.2002.1133

Griffin, K. W., Botvin, G. J., Scheier, L. M., Epstein, J. A., & Diaz, T. (2002). Personal competence skills, distress, and well-being as determinants of substance use in a predominantly minority urban adolescent sample. Prevention Science, 3, 23-33. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1014667209130

Botvin, G. J., & Griffin, K. W. (2002). Life skills training as a primary prevention approach for adolescent drug use and other problem behaviors. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 4, 41-47. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=12014292

Griffin, K. W., Botvin, G. J., Scheier, L.M., & Nichols, T. R. (2002). Factors associated with regular marijuana use among high school students: A long-term follow-up study. Substance Use & Misuse, 37, 225-238. https://doi.org/10.1081/JA-120001979

Scheier, L. M., Griffin, K. W., Doyle, M. M., & Botvin, G. J. (2002). Estimates of intragroup dependence for drug abuse and skills measures in school-based drug abuse prevention trials: An empirical study of three independent samples. Health Education & Behavior, 29, 85-103. https://doi.org/10.1177/109019810202900109

Botvin, G. J., Griffin, K. W., Diaz, T., & Ifill-Williams, M. (2001). Preventing binge drinking during early adolescence: One- and two-year follow-up of a school-based preventive intervention. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 15, 360-365. https://doi.org/10.1037//0893-164X.15.4.360

Griffin, K. W., Scheier, L. M., Botvin, G. J., & Diaz, T. (2001). Protective role of personal competence skills in adolescent substance use: Psychological well-being as a mediating factor. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 15, 194-203. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-164X.15.3.194  

Griffin, K. W., Epstein, J. A., Botvin, G. J., & Spoth, R. L. (2001).  Social competence and substance use among rural youth: Mediating role of social benefit expectancies of use. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 30, 485-498. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010449300990   

Honors and Awards

 

  • Mona Mansell Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the prevention of adolescent alcohol and drug abuse, Freedom Institute NYC, Apr 2016
  • U.S. Distinguished International Scientist Collaboration Award, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2010
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Health Psychology, Miguel Hernàndez University, Elche, Spain, Sponsored by Spanish Ministry of Education, Apr 2009; Jun 2010; Jul 2012 to Dec 2012
  • NIH Loan Repayment Program Award (Grant L60 MD000656, “Etiology & Prevention of Drug Use Among Multi-Ethnic Youth”), National Center on Minority Health & Health Disparities, 2002-2007
  • Early Career Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions to prevention science, Society for Prevention Research, May 2002

 

Degrees

  • MPH, Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
  • PhD, Social & Health Psychology (Minor in Quantitative Methods), Stony Brook University, State University of New York (SUNY)
  • MA, Psychology, Stony Brook University
  • BA, Behavioral Sciences, University of Chicago