Dr. Colin Mahoney’s Lab

Dr. Colin Mahoney’s Lab

Dr. Colin Mahoney’s Lab

Research Interests
Dr. Mahoney’s research lab interests include the following:

  • Identifying risk, maintenance, and protective factors for the symptoms and diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUDs) among women following exposure to interpersonal violence (i.e., sexual violence, intimate partner violence [IPV], community violence) and among men following exposure to combat trauma
  • Mixed methods research including (1) experimental, (2) prospective, and (3) qualitative studies
  • Informing, enhancing, and developing evidence-based assessments and treatments for PTSD and comorbid SUDs






Active Studies

  • Women’s Health & Substance Use Study

    The purpose of the Women’s Health Study is to understand coping strategies that women use to address psychological distress following exposure to trauma and adversity. Specifically, we aim to examine how traumatic and other stressful experiences affect coping styles, psychological well-being, and risky behaviors among female college students. If you agree to take part in this study, you will be asked to complete some brief screening measures online (approximately 10 minutes) and then complete an interview (approximately 90-120 minutes). This interview may be conducted either in-person or online via MS Teams. As a part of the interview, you will be asked questions that assess coping strategies and traumatic experiences – including exposure to violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. We will also ask questions about impulsivity, substance use, and psychological symptoms.

    You can sign up for the study at: https://uccs.sona-systems.com/exp_info.aspx?experiment_id=729

  • Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma (ITT) Study

    This prospective study is examining the intergenerational transmission of trauma from adult caregivers to adolescents. A battery of surveys is administered at five different time points over a two-year period (i.e., baseline, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 24 months). These surveys assess a wide array of variables including trauma history, PTSD, substance use outcomes, and several other relevant psychosocial factors. The study also serves to track child and caregiver treatment outcomes and symptom trajectories. The ITT study is a partnership between the MPWR Lab and the Family Advocacy Center at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA.

  • Women’s Health & Trauma Study at UMass Amherst

    The Women’s Health and Trauma Study at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA is a prospective study examining a variety of risk factors and outcomes associated with both campus sexual assault and intimate partner violence experiences among college women. Variables related to substance use, risky sexual experiences, exposure to trauma, discrimination experiences, and social support can impact overall wellbeing and exacerbate or maintain the symptoms of mental disorders such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study aims to examine these factors over time to better understand their complex and cumulative influence and the corresponding needs of women with co-occurring PTSD and substance use problems. Obtaining a more comprehensive grasp on these factors can be informative for both assessment and intervention approaches that directly address the persistent negative impact of these issues.