2018 Research Live! People’s Choice – Kelly Clary: Creating Tailored Interventions
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2018 Research Live! People’s Choice – Kelly Clary: Creating Tailored Interventions

>>Hi. My name is Kelly Clary. And I am a third-year PhD student
in the school of social work. I research ways to reduce drug
use among emerging adult veterans, a veteran between the ages
of 18 to 29 years old. For today, drug use will include
alcohol, marijuana, heroin, cocaine and all other illegal substances. Drug use can lead to many problems such
as mental health concerns, health issues, depression, homelessness, suicide,
addiction, overdose and even lead to death, many problems which are preventable. Emerging adults, 18 to 29-year-olds, have the
highest rates of drug use across age groups. About 15% meet criteria for a
diagnosable drug use disorder. Emerging adult veterans have even higher rates. More than 20% meet criteria. Veterans have unique stressors which
may relate to these high rates. Research says a person does not truly
become an adult at the age of 18 but rather there is a transitional
phase into adulthood. The emerging adulthood theory tries to
capture this phase through its five dimensions which are thought to relate or
explain the rates of drug use. I want to understand to what extent the five
dimensions relate to emerging adult veterans so therapy is more relatable
and effective for this group. No other research has looked
at this connection before. The five emerging adulthood theory
dimensions are thought to relate to drug use. So what are they? One, instability. Many changes such as switching
jobs or trying new majors. All changes which may create stress or anxiety. Two, identity exploration. Trying to find one’s true self and
what they truly want out of life. Three, self-focused behaviors. Time to try new things that
interest, excite, and arouse. Four, feeling in between
an adolescent and an adult. Five, optimism. Feeling hopeful about the future. My research goal is to better understand
emerging adult veterans’ transition into adulthood and how this relates
to the five dimensions and drug use. I will gain this information
through in-depth, face-to-face, qualitative interviews with
30 emerging adult veterans. Gaining this information will assist
with creating appropriate therapy for emerging adult veterans and
positively impact many lives. I will work towards decreasing drug use among
the entire emerging adulthood population because every day is a great
day to work toward saving lives. Thank you.

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