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  • Arizona State University, PhD
  • Arizona State University, MA
  • University of Virginia, BA

Research Interests

  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Psychiatric Genetics
  • Longitudinal Modeling

Research Description

My program of research applies a developmental psychopathology approach to genetic and environmental influences on substance use disorders (SUD) and co-occurring conditions (e.g., Posttraumatic Stress Disorder/PTSD). I am especially interested in the role of genetic influences in moderating early environmental stressors (e.g., traumatic events), as well as the role of environmental influences in mediating genetic effects on substance misuse, PTSD, and their comorbidity. I also examine whether and how these gene-environment effects change across development, primarily focusing on these influences during adolescence and the transition from adolescence to emerging adulthood. I aim to utilize a variety of sophisticated longitudinal modeling approaches (e.g., longitudinal growth curve models, structural equation models, latent change scores) in answering these questions.


  • K01 Career Development Award (National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Virginia Commonwealth University), March 2020-February 2025
  • President’s Quest Research Fund (Virginia Commonwealth University), July 2019-December 2021
  • T32 post-doctoral training fellowship (Institutional NRSA, National Institute of Mental Health, Medical University of South Carolina), August 2015-July 2017
  • National Research Service Award (F31) Recipient, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), August 2012-July 20149
  • T32 pre-doctoral training fellowship (Institutional NRSA, National Institute of Mental Health, Arizona State University), July 2011-June 2012
  • Research Excellence Fellowship, Arizona State University, August 2008-August 2009

Selected Publications

Bountress, K.*, Bustamante, D.*, Subbie-Saenz de Viteri, S., Chatzinakos, C., Sheerin, C., Daskalakis, N., Edenberg, H. J., PGC PTSD Working Group, Peterson, R., Webb, B.T., Meyers, J., & Amstadter, A. (2022). Differences in Genetic Correlations between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol-Related Problems Phenotypes Compared to Alcohol Consumption-Related Phenotypes. Psychological Medicine.

Bountress, K.E., Brick, L. A., Sheerin, C., Grotzinger, A., Bustamante, D., Hawn, S. E., … & Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Working Group. (2022). Alcohol use and alcohol use disorder differ in their genetic relationships with PTSD: a genomic structural equation modelling approach. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 234, 109430.

Bountress, K.E., Cusack, S.E., Conley, A.H., Aggen, S.H., The Spit for Science Working Group, Vassileva, J.*, Dick, D. M.*, * Amstadter, A.B.* (2022). The COVID-19 pandemic impacts psychiatric outcomes and alcohol use among college students. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 13, 202279.

Bountress, K.E., Wendt, F., Bustamante, D., Agrawal, A., Webb, B., Gillespie, N., … & Amstadter, A. (2021). Potential causal effect of posttraumatic stress disorder on alcohol use disorder and alcohol consumption in individuals of European descent: A Mendelian Randomization Study. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 45(8), 1616-1623.

Bountress, K.E., Cusack, S. E., Conley, A. H., Aggen, S. H., Vassileva, J., Dick, D. M., … & Spit for Science Working Group. (2021). Unpacking the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: identifying structural domains. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 12(1), 1932296.