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Dr. Matthew Lee

Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology

Office: SMH 215

Email: ml1408@gsapp.rutgers.edu

Curriculum Vitae:

  • Bio
  • Current Research
  • Grants
  • Selected Publications
  • Recent Awards


Matthew Lee, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Applied Psychology Department of the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. He is a lifespan-developmental addictions researcher at the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies. Much of his research to date has investigated “maturing out” of problem drinking during young adulthood. However, through a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence grant awarded by NIAAA, Dr. Lee’s research has expanded to investigate problem-drinking recovery across the entire adult lifespan.


Current Research

Recent objectives of Dr. Lee’s research included analyzing various existing datasets to characterize age differences across the adult lifespan in patterns of problem-drinking recovery and age differences in the relevance of various possible mechanisms that may influence recovery (e.g., family-role transitions like marriage and parenthood, personality maturation, alcohol-related “problem recognition” and drinking restraint, health problems/concerns). A number of data-analysis projects stemming from these earlier objectives are currently underway in Dr. Lee’s lab.

Current and upcoming objectives of Dr. Lee’s lab include collecting additional waves of data from a sample of past participants from a longitudinal, multigenerational study of familial alcohol use disorder. The primary purpose of this data collection will be to investigate relations between health and problem drinking in the midlife and older-adult developmental periods of the lifespan. In particular, there is an interest in investigating health as a mechanism of drinking-related reduction, and in investigating other related factors including social (e.g., family) support, affect and coping, and alcohol-effect sensitivity.


2018-2021 NIAAA, Principal Investigator, Health-Related Desistance from Problem Drinking in Midlife Older Adulthood (R00-AA024236), $745,550
2016-2018 NIAAA, Principal Investigator, Desistance from Pathological Drinking Across the Lifespan: A Developmental Analysis (K99-AA024236), $208,397


Selected Publications

Lee, M. R., McDowell, Y. E., & Sher, K. J. (2019). Progression of substance use to substance use disorder. In Z. Sloboda, H. Petras, E. Robertson, & R. Hingson (Eds.), Prevention of Substance Use (Abstract)

Lee, M. R. & Sher, K. J. (2017). “Maturing out” of binge and problem drinking. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews. (Full Text; PDF)

Lee, M. R., Yeung, E. W., Chassin, L., & Sher, K. J. (2017, June). A Lifespan-Developmental Investigation of Marriage and Problem-Drinking Desistance: Evidence for Young-Adult Specificity of the Marriage Effect and its Mediators. Presented at the 13th Annual Satellite Session for Research on Mechanisms of Behavior Change, 40th Annual Scientific Meeting for the Research Society on Alcoholism, Denver, CO. (Presentation Slides)

Lee, M. R., Boness, C. L., McDowell, Y. E., Vergés, A., Steinley, D. L., & Sher, K. J. (2017). Desistance and Severity of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Lifespan-Developmental Investigation. Clinical Psychological Science. (Abstract; PMID: 29335673)

Lee, M. R., Ellingson, J. M., & Sher, K. J. (2015). Integrating Social-Contextual and Intrapersonal Mechanisms of “Maturing Out”: Joint Influences of Familial Role Transitions and Personality Maturation on Problem Drinking Reductions. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 39(9), 1775-1787. (PMCID: 4558380PDF)

Lee, M. R., Chassin, L., & MacKinnon, D. (2015). Role Transitions and Young Adult Maturing Out of Heavy Drinking: Evidence for Larger Effects of Marriage among More Severe Pre-Marriage Problem Drinkers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 39(6), 1064-1074. (PMCID: 4452406PDF)

Recent Awards

2017-2019 Society of Addiction Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 50 Clinical Research Student Loan Repayment Award
2017-2018 Office of Academic Affairs, Research and Economic Development, University of Missouri Faculty Scholars Professional Development Program
2015-2016 Office of Research and Graduate Studies, University of Missouri  Postdoctoral Preparing Future Faculty Fellowship