My name is Marsha Sargeant and I currently work as a postdoctoral research fellow at University of Southern California. I am working on a longitudinal study examining familial transmission of alcohol involvement in the sub-Saharan African island nation of Mauritius. Of particular interest within this study is whether current models of substance use and other externalizing behaviors generalize to non-Western cultures.
I completed my undergraduate work in psychology at California State University, Long Beach and my M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at University of Maryland, College Park. Throughout my graduate career, I did research and clinical work at an inner-city residential substance abuse treatment center in Washington DC and at the Baltimore VA / University of Maryland School of Medicine in the Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers. I also provided research design and analysis consultation to faculty and students at UMCP (and to other colleagues!). My internship placement was at the Long Beach VA Healthcare system, where I completed rotations in the Substance Abuse Treatment Center, PTSD/substance abuse unit, Spinal Cord Injury, Outpatient Mental Health, and Assessment/Psychotherapy. I have taught courses in General Psychology, Community Psychology, and Lifespan Development.
My general interest is in substance abuse and co-occurring psychological and/or medical problems and I have published on antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy, schizotypy, and the development of a behavioral intervention for depression in substance abusers. Recently, I have ventured into the realm of behavioral medicine by working on developing a culturally-competent assessment and treatment protocol for veterans with spinal cord injury and substance abuse problems. The focus of this project is to ensure consideration of various dimensions of diversity (e.g. veteran culture, disability culture, harm-reduction vs. abstinence treatment goals) in providing substance abuse treatment to this population that previously experienced treatment disparities due to their complex medical issues.
I am a clinician, researcher, and educator. As you might suspect, my resume reveals an array of interests and does not seem to have an obvious pattern of focus (there is a method to my madness though!). This is what I love about working in psychology – being trained in an area that allows me to work successfully in such a broad range of settings, on an even broader range of topics, and with such diverse populations.