My background: My name is Rubin Khoddam – a Clinical Psychology PhD student at the University of Southern California (Fight On!). I currently research genetic and environmental influences on alcohol use. I examine alcohol use in relation to other traits related to depression, aggression, and antisocial behaviors. As a result of this experience, you will see a lot of posts reflecting addiction. Clinically, I am currently doing psychoeducational assessments as well as marriage/family therapy.
I have been involved in the field for over a decade (if you include Peer Mediation in Middle School and High School). I went to college at University of California, San Diego and graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Psychology. Throughout my time there, I worked on a 20-year longitudinal study with adolescents in treatment for alcohol and substance use issues as well as other studies using functional MRIs to understand neurobiological effects of addiction.
Following my undergraduate research, I worked for 2 years post-graduation at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital in San Diego doing research with Dr. Mark Myers and Dr. Neal Doran on cigarette smoking habits in college students, answering questions, such as: Why do some people start smoking? How do genetics and environment play a role? Is it their expectations of what smoking can do that influences whether they smoke or not? I also did some work with veterans studying the effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions. I now currently work with Dr. Carol A. Prescott examining genetic and environmental influences of alcohol use and relevant psychopathology. Also, as a member of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) National Advocacy and Public Education Committee as well as the RSA Government Affairs and Advocacy Committee, my goal is to reduce the stigma on alcoholism and raise awareness on the effects and reality of what alcohol use has both biologically and environmentally.
What keeps me interested in this field? Everyday life. It is applicable to anyone anywhere (including myself) – how did I get to where I am in my life? How did you get to where you are in your life? Why are some resilient against all odds and some who have harder times pushing through the barriers in their life. What is it about their environment, state, genetics, biology, etc. that can contribute to the way they show up in their life. I see this in my own life and my goal is to provide a platform for you to see it in yours.
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