Principal Investigator

Craig R. Colder, Ph.D.

    Dr. Colder is the Principal Investigator of the Adolescent and Family Development Project.  He directs a multidisciplinary team that includes faculty from UB, Buffalo State University, University of Washington, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Emory University.  Dr. Colder received his doctoral degree from Arizona State University in 1994, and completed post-doctoral training at Duke University Medical Center and The Health Policy and Researcher Centers at University of Illinois at Chicago.  His area of interest is in childhood and adolescent behavior problems, and the development of substance abuse.



Project Coordinator

Dawn Keough

    Dawn is the project coordinator of the Adolescent and Family Development project. She received her B.A in sociology from Buffalo State College. Dawn has worked on several NIH grant funded projects at the Research Institute on Addictions in Buffalo from January 1999 to November 2006, at which point she came to UB to work on this project.





Research Staff

    Seth Frndak

        Seth Frndak is a data analyst for the Adolescent and Family Development Project. Seth completed his bachelors' at Houghton College in history and philosophy. His master's degree is in Educational Psychology and Quantitative Methods from the University at Buffalo. Broadly, his research interests are centered on public health issues and interventions. Previously, Seth worked as a research assistant and analyst studying cognitive disability and vocational status among multiple sclerosis patients. Currently, Seth is studying alcohol use among adolescents using measures of internalizing and externalizing as predictors of alcohol consumption.



Graduate Students

    Samuel Meisel

       Sam is a third year doctoral student in the Child and Family Development Lab. He studied psychology as an undergraduate at Boston University. Sam's research interests are in understanding the multiple influences (individuals, family, peers, community) that contribute to adolescent substance use. Specifically, Sam's work has focused on the social (e.g. social norms, peer behavior) and motivational (e.g. social goals, substance-related cognitions) factors that lead to the initiation and escalation of adolescent substance use. Outside of research, Sam enjoys working out, playing soccer and basketball, reading, and watching movies.



    Matthew Scalco

       Matt is a doctoral student in the Child and Family Development Lab. Matt received his B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and his M.A. in psychology from the University at Buffalo. Are self-medication models valid in early adolescence? How is the peer context in early adolescence related to the initiation and escalation of substance use? Do specific phenotypes interact with social and contextual factors to bias behavior toward escalation of substance use? Is it perceived social norms regarding substance use, actual peer substance use, or both that predict later increases in substance use? How does early, heavy, and prolonged substance use effect development? These are just some the questions that Matt has asked in the Colder lab. In addition to substance use and abuse research, Matt also has interests in philosophy of science, statistical methods, the etiology of other psychopathology including internalizing problems, effects of trauma, personality disorders, and their interrelation with substance use.


    Shontay Barnes

       Shontay Barnes is a first year psychology masters student working in the Child and Family Development Lab. Previously, she has worked as an assistant at the U.B. Personality, Psychopathology and Psychometrics Lab. Her interests include personality and developmental factors relating to criminal behavior. She plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the future.





    Jennifer Zehe

    Jen is a doctoral student at the University of Buffalo, and is currently completing an internship in a correctional setting. Throughout graduate school, Jen's research has focused on understanding how the neighborhood, parenting practices, and peer influences interact with individual differences to influence child and adolescent adjustment and development. Jen is interested in the application of these findings to communities and individuals, with the hope of bolstering protective factors, initiating early interventions, and providing resources that can lead to positive outcomes.