Robert Schlauch

Robert Schlauch

Associate Professor


Office: PCD 4120
Phone: 813/974-4767


Curriculum Vitae


  • Postdoctoral Fellow (T32), Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, 2010-2013
  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Florida State University, 2010
  • Clinical Internship, Division of Substance Abuse, Yale School of Medicine, 2009-2010
  • M.A. Clinical Psychology, Florida State University, 2007
  • B.A. Psychology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2002


Research Interests:

My research interests focus broadly in understanding the role of individual differences in alcohol and drug use behavior. Specifically, I am interested in applying multidisciplinary approaches to the study of: a) processes associated with positive treatment outcomes, with a particular emphasis on craving and pretreatment change, b) risk factors for the development of substance use disorders (SUDs), including positive and negative reinforcement pathways to use, c) the interplay between substance use, comorbid disorders, personality, and aggression, including intimate partner violence, and d) the moderating role of individual difference variables in alcohol related disinhibited behaviors. Related to my work on craving, I am also interested (in collaboration with Dr. Diana Rancourt) in the applicability of craving as a transdiagnostic construct for disordered eating and compensatory behaviors. Secondary interests include methodological issues in clinical science broadly, and substance use research specifically.


Ambivalence Model of Craving: Re-examining the craving-drinking relationship (funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; NIAAA).  In this 5-year Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) we are examining the incremental and predictive validity of measuring craving experiences as the concurrent activation of both approach (desires to use) and avoidance inclinations (desires to not use).  Utilizing both clinical trial and daily process methodology, this study will examine the dynamic longitudinal relationships between daily approach and avoidance inclinations and drinking behaviors in those diagnosed with alcohol use disorders prior to (30-day pretreatment interval), during (30-day treatment interval), and after receiving a brief alcohol intervention (30-day post-treatment interval). In addition, the study will examine how these processes change over the course of recovery, including their influence on treatment initiation and treatment retention.

Influence of Pretreatment Changes on Mechanism of Change Research. In this program of research, my colleagues and I are conducting secondary analyses of numerous treatment outcome datasets to examine the influence of pretreatment changes in drinking behavior on mechanisms of change research.  Preliminary data on pretreatment change suggests that approximately 50% of those seeking treatment for alcohol dependence rapidly decrease their drinking prior to beginning treatment and then maintain such changes throughout treatment.  Such findings challenge the assumption that “major changes” begin only after treatment entry and suggests that “treatment” is only part of a process that begins weeks or months prior to treatment entry, significantly impacting the study of mechanisms of change.

Craving and Disordered Eating/Compensatory Behaviors: In this program of research, in collaboration with Dr. Diana Rancourt, we are examining the applicability of craving to serve as a transdiagnostic construct for disordered eating and compensatory behaviors. Specifically, we have been applying several theoretical models of craving from the substance use literature to better understand problematic behaviors associated with eating disorders, including the Ambivalence Model of Craving (i.e., approach and avoidance inclinations).

Event Related Potential Correlates of Impulsivity and Sensation-Seeking.  In this program of research my colleagues and I are examining the neurobiological mechanisms (i.e., event-related potentials; ERPs) differentiating impulsivity and sensation-seeking personality traits, with a specific focus on indices of conflict monitoring, reward sensitivity, and boredom susceptibility.




2017 Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contribution Award (American Psychological Association, Division 50 – Society of Addictive Psychology)


(*indicates undergraduate student, graduate student, or postdoctoral fellow)

*Levine, J.A., *Gius, B.K., *Boghdadi, G., Connors, G.J., Maisto, S.A., & Schlauch, R.C. (in press). Between- and within-person associations between alcohol use and psychological distress during and following treatment: A Test of the bidirectional relationships. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

*Ahlich, E., *Verzijl, C.L., *Simon, J., Schlauch, R.C., & Rancourt, D. (in press). Support for a multidimensional model of food craving using self-report and cue reactivity methodologies. International Journal of Eating Disorders.

*Noyes, E.T., *Levine, J.A., & Schlauch, R.C. (2019). Psychometric evaluation of the approach and avoidance of alcohol questionnaire in a community sample. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 41, 375-383.

Schlauch, R.C., Crane, C.A., Connors, G.J., Dearing, R.L., & Maisto, S.A (2019). The Role of Craving in the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders: The Importance of Pretreatment Changes and Competing Desires. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 199, 144-150.

*Levine, J.A., *Noyes, E.T., *Gius, B., Houston, R.J., *Ahlich, E., Rancourt, D. & Schlauch, R.C. (2019). Development and Psychometric Evaluation of a Brief Approach and Avoidance of Alcohol Questionnaire. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 43, 353-366.

Rancourt, D., *Ahlich, E., *Levine, J.,A., *Lee, M., Schlauch, R. C., (2019). Applying a multidimensional model of craving to disordered eating behaviors: Development of an approach and avoidance questionnaire. Psychological Assessment, 31, 751-764

*Noyes, E.T. & Schlauch, R.C. (2018). Examination of approach and avoidance inclinations on the reinforcing value of alcohol. Addictive Behaviors, 79, 61-67.

*Noyes, E.T., *Levine, J.A., Schlauch, R.C., Crane, C.A., Connors, G.J., Maisto, S.A., & Dearing, R.L. (2018). Impact of pretreatment change on mechanism of behavior change research: An applied example using alcohol abstinence self-efficacy. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 79, 223-228.

Schlauch, R.C., *Rice, S.L., Connors, G.J., & Lang, A.R. (2015). Ambivalence Model of Craving: A latent profile analysis of cue-elicited alcohol craving in an inpatient clinical sample. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 76, 764-772.

Schlauch, R.C., Levitt, A., Bradizza, C.M., Stasiewicz, P.R., Lucke, J.F., Maisto, S.A., Zhou, Y. & Connors, G.J. (2013). Alcohol Craving in Patients Diagnosed with a Severe Mental Illness and Alcohol Use Disorder: Bi-Directional Relationships between Approach and Avoidance Inclinations and Drinking. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81, 1087-1099.