Sarah Jane Peterson

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  • Clinical Psychology Graduate Student
  • Psychology
Research Interests

Sarah Jane Peterson is a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky. Her research examines trends in and explanations of persistent, heavy, and problematic drinking in adolescents and emerging adults. Her research has focused on maladaptive personality traits related to impulsivity, learned expectancies for reinforcing effects of alcohol, and their transactional, predictive influence on drinking behavior. She is currently a NIAAA fellow completing her dissertation examining two potential explanations for early maturing out of problematic alcohol use. Other aspects of her research include the use of developmentally sensitive statistical methods (i.e. trajectory models, growth based models) and the reciprocality of risk factors and addictive behaviors. As of July 2021, she is completing her pre-doctoral internship at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, with an emphasis in Substance Use Disorders.


M.S., Clinical Psychology, University of Kentucky, 2017 

B.A., Psychology, Hope College, 2015

Graduate Training
Selected Publications

Peterson, S. J., & Smith, G. T. (2019). Impulsigenic personality: Is urgency an example of the jangle fallacy? Psychological Assessment, 31(9), 1135-1144.

Peterson, S. J. & Smith, G. T. (2018). Impulsigenic personality traits: From the impulsive to the compulsive. Invited chapter in N. S. Columbus (Ed.), Understanding impulsive behavior: Assessment, influences, and gender differences. (pp.29-60). Nova Science Publishers, New York, NY.

Peterson, S. J., Davis, H. A., & Smith, G. T. (2018). Personality and learning predictors of adolescent alcohol consumption trajectories. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 127(5), 482-495.

Peterson, S. J. & Smith, G. T. (2017). Association between elementary school personality and high school smoking and drinking. Addiction. 112(11), 2043-2052.

Peterson, S. J. & Smith, G. T. (2016).  Application of the expectancy concept to substance use.  Invited chapter in S. A. Brown and R. A. Zucker (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Adolescent Substance Abuse. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199735662.013.017

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