Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo)
M.A. (Behavioural Neuroscience, Wilfrid Laurier University)
B.Sc. (Psychology/Sociology, University of Toronto)
My primary research interest is in the aetiology of young adult heavy and problem alcohol use. My research aims to explicate the positive and negative reinforcement pathways that lead to problematic drinking, particularly for those transitioning from adolescence to early adulthood. Within this framework I examine the role of individual-level factors such as personality (i.e., behavioural inhibition/approach systems), social anxiety, and cognitive processes (e.g., self-regulatory and impulsive processes) to distinguish who is at risk and the inherent mechanisms. I also consider environmental and cultural context in models of risk and resilience.
In one line of my current work I use a mix of in-lab experimental studies, ecological momentary assessments (i.e., data collection by smartphone), and online prospective studies to test models of alcohol use risk among those transitioning into, through, and out of university. In another line of my work, in conjunction with community partners and a larger cross-Canada team of academic and non-academic collaborators, I use a mixed method approach to examine the role of Indigenous culture in youth resilience and abstinence from substance use.
I am a core member of the Concordia University Centre for Clinical Research in Health (CCRH)
Prospective Graduate Students:
Dr. O'Connor will consider applicants for programme entry in the 2023-2024 academic year. Please refer to Graduate Admissions
for application details.
Grant institution funding
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
- Fonds de recherché sur la société et la culture Quebec (FQRSC)
- Social Sciences andHumanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
*indicates graduate or postdoc supervisee
*Reynolds, A., *Keough, M. T., Blacklock, A., Tootoosis, C., Whelan, J., Bomfim, E., Mushquash, C., Wendt, D. C., †O’Connor, R. M., & †Burack, J. A. (in press). The impact of cultural identify, parental communication, and peer influence on substance use among Indigenous youth in Canada. Transcultural Psychiatry. †Joint senior authors.
Zolopa, C., Burack, J., O’Connor, R. M., *Corran, C., Lai, J., *Bomfim, E., DeGrace, S., *Dumont, J., Larney, S., & Wendt, D. C. (2022).Changes in youth mental health, psychological wellbeing, and substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic: A rapid review. Adolescent Research Review, 7, 161-177. DOI: 10.1007/s40894-022-00185-6
*Corran, C., *Khan, M., Gallant, S., Shalev, U., & O’Connor, R. M. (2022). Restrained eating and alcohol misuse: Testing drinking to cope and impulsivity as moderators. Journal of American College Health. DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2022.2062246
*Ogniewicz, A. S., Kuntsche, E., & O’Connor, R. M. (2019). Post-event processing and alcohol intoxication: The moderating role of social anxiety. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 43(5), 874-883. DOI: 10.1007/s10608-019-10011-4
*Nitka, D., & O’Connor, R. M. (2017). Evaluations of alcohol consequences moderate social anxiety risk for problematic drinking. Addictive Behaviors, 65, 131-136. DOI:10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.10.005
*Keough, M. T., & O’Connor, R. M. (2016). Interactive Effects of the BIS and the BAS on trajectories of alcohol misuse after university graduation. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, Supplement on Externalizing and Internalizing Symptomatology and Risk for Substance Abuse, 9 (Suppl.1), 33-40. DOI: 10.4137/SART.S31434
*Keough, M. T., O’Connor, R. M., & Read, J. P. (2016). Replication and validation of the Young Adult Alcohol Consequences Questionnaire in a large sample of Canadian undergraduates. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 40(5), 1093-1099. DOI: 10.1111/acer.13039.
O’Connor, R. M., & Colder, C. R. (2015).The prospective joint effects of self-regulation and automatic processes on early adolescence alcohol use. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs,76(6), 884-894. DOI: 10.15288/jsad.2015.76.884
O'Connor, R. M., Lopez-Vergara, H. I., &Colder, C. R. (2012). Implicit cognition and substance use: The role of controlled and automatic processes in children. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 73(1), 134-143. DOI: 10.15288/jsad.2012.73.134