Primary Research Focus
The Deutsch Lab examines how complex systems foster positive or negative outcomes related to the development of alcohol use and romantic/sexual health over age. We also examine how alcohol misuse and sexual health manifest as health disparities between advantaged and disadvantaged groups.
We take a “genes to geography,” multiple methodology approach that integrates methods from psychology, human development, behavior genetics, systems science and community public health.
The goals of our lab are to a) understand how underlying etiologies and external environments synergistically facilitate personal, family, and community health and risk, and b) how such information can be translated to action-based implementation to reduce health disparities.
About the Deutsch Lab
Lab Projects and News
Syndemic System Dynamics of Alcohol Exposed Pregnancies
This study focuses on utilizing community-based system dynamic models to examine a) systems that facilitate and maintain levels of alcohol exposed pregnancy within Northern Plains American Indian communities, b) the role of intimate partner violence within these systems, and c) vulnerable areas of intervention that can result in full system change and reduction of alcohol exposed pregnancies.
Community-based Understanding of Links Between IPV and Alcohol
This is a small grant to build genuine working partnerships within a rural reservation-based Native community. In partnering with local domestic violence organizations, we plan to develop community-based operational definitions of intimate partner violence and substance misuse, as well as assess community understandings of current needs for addressing these issues.
Developmental Behavior Genetics of Alcohol Use
A longstanding line of research involves twin data to assess how influences of alcohol use age (adolescence to young adulthood) and stage (initiation to alcohol use disorder). Previous studies have examined the potentially causal role of earlier onset of earlier alcohol use stages (such as first drink or first time getting drunk) on later stages (such as age of first alcohol use problems or alcohol use disorder diagnosis).
Meet the Deutsch Lab Team
Rebecca Lustfield, MS
Senior Clinical Research Specialist
Rebecca Lustfield is pursuing her PhD in philosophy from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. In the Deutsch Lab, she manages all phases of relational establishment and responds to all Community Based Participatory Research initiatives. Applying CBPR principles, she has advanced relationships for research efforts across South Dakota. The purpose of this work is to capture the unique social networking details that illuminate dynamics within formed or pending reciprocal health-grounded relationships.