Christina S. Lee Adjunct Associate Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dr. Lee is an assistant professor (Research) in the Department of Community Health, where her clinical and research interests focus on Motivational Interviewing (MI) with vulnerable populations. She received her Ph.D. from New York University in 2002 and completed her internship in clinical psychology (specializing in Health Psychology), at Tewksbury State Hospital, Massachusetts. Prior to graduate school Dr. Lee worked as a substance abuse counselor with chemically dependent and mentally-ill patients in a hospital setting. As a graduate student she received a National Research Service Award (NIAAA) for her dissertation on clinical decision-making with minority alcohol-involved adolescents. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in addictions studies at the Brown University School of Medicine. Since 2005 Dr. Lee has been a Planning Committee member for the Working Consortium on the Inclusion and Care of the Underserved, sponsored by the Mayo Clinic and is a member of the Diversity Special Interests Group of the Clinical Psychology Training Consortium at Brown Medical School. She has served on a scientific review committee for NIAAA.

Brown Affiliations

scholarly work

Borrelli, B., Lee, C.S., & Novak, S.N. (in press). Nurses Acquisition and retention of smoking cessation counseling skills: A prospective study. American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

David, S., Smith, M., Lee, C.S., & Sullivan, G. (in press). A community primary care/academic partnership model for smoking cessation using nicotine replacement therapy in Latin Americans. American Journal of Public Health.

Lee, C.S., Longabaugh, R., Baird, J., Abrantes, A.A., Borrelli, B., Stein, L.A.R., Woolard, R.W., Nirenberg, T.D., Becker, B., Mello, M., Carty, K., Clifford, P., and Gogineni, A.(in press). Do patient intervention ratings predict alcohol-related outcome? Addictive Behaviors.

Lee, C.S., Abrantes, A., Colby, S.M., Lopez, S.R., and Jordan, T.J. (In press). Medical student judgments of alcohol-involved adolescents. Substance Use and Misuse.

Lee, C.S. and the Academic ED SBIRT Research Collaborative. The Impact of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment (SBIRT) on Emergency Department Patients' Alcohol Use. Ann Emerg Med. 2007; V: pp. (in press).

Lee, C.S., Lopez, S.R., Colby, S.M., Tejada, M., Garcia Coll, C., and Smith, M. (Winter 2006). Social processes underlying acculturation: A study of drinking behavior among immigrant Latinos in the Northeast United States. Contemporary Drug Problems, 33, 585-609.

Colby, S.M., Lee, C.S., Lewis-Esquerre, J., Esposito, C., and Monti, P.M. (2004). Adolescent alcohol misuse: methodological issues for enhancing treatment research. Addiction, 99, (Suppl.2), 47-62.

Lee, C. (2001). The use of narrative in understanding how cancer affects development: the stories of one cancer survivor. Journal of Health Psychology, 6(3), 283-293.

Baird, J., Longabaugh, R., Lee, C.S., Stein, L.A.R., Woolard, R.W., Nirenberg, T.D., Becker, B., Mello, M., Carty, K., and Gogineni, A.). (in press). The retention of participants in a brief Motivational Intervention in the Emergency Department. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

research overview

Dr. Christina Lee's research focuses most broadly on developing and implementing innovative clinical treatment research to reduce alcohol/substance use related health disparities in underserved populations. Other research areas of interest include methods to enhance minority recruitment and retention and mechanisms of change in behavioral health treatment outcomes.

research statement

Dr. Lee has worked on a research program to reduce health disparities from the perspectives of health services and clinical treatment research. She is currently principal investigator on a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to develop and to implement a culturally adapted motivational interview. Study aims are to 1) compare the efficacy of a culturally adapted motivational interview (MI) incorporating unique risk and cultural factors to standard MI, 2) identify elements of adaptation that influence treatment outcomes and 3) whether treatment adaptation increases its social validity among the targeted population. She is co-I on a NINR-funded study to culturally and linguistically tailor physical activity interventions for Latinas and is a treatment provider delivering motivational interventions to pregnant women who are trying to quit smoking. She is currently participating on a working group (Borrelli, PI) to analyze treatment outcomes data on a completed study using home care nurses to deliver brief interventions to reduce smoking among Latino parents who have children with asthma. Dr. Lee has a second line of research that focuses on identifying potential active ingredients of change in alcohol treatment and collaborates with the Injury Prevention Center at Rhode Island Hospital (Department of Emergency Medicine) to analyze treatment outcome data.

funded research


3 K23 AA014905 C.S. Lee, Ph.D. (PI) 3/1/05-2/28/10
Culturally Adapted Motivational Interviewing for Hispanics
This Patient-Oriented Research Career Award allows the PI to receive training in alcohol treatment research specializing in the implementation and evaluation of research with underserved groups. Research aims are to compare the efficacy of a culturally adapted treatment to standard treatment.
Role: PI

R21 NR009864 B. Marcus, Ph.D. (PI) 9/14/06-7/31/08
Seamos Activas: Increasing Activity among Latinas
This project culturally and linguistically modifies a print-based, expert system physical activity intervention for sedentary Latina women.
Role: Co-Investigator


Research Excellence Award C.S. Lee, Ph.D. (PI) 2004-2005
Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University
Level of acculturation and alcohol-consumption behavior in Hispanics
This study qualitatively investigated influences and changes in drinking behavior among immigrant Hispanics in the Northeast.
Role: PI

F31 AA05559-01 C.S. Lee, Ph.D. (PI) 2000-2002
NIAAA NRSA (Individual)
Alcoholism and the Minority Teen: Problems in Diagnosis
This project investigated clinical decision-making with respect to alcohol-involved minority teens.
Role: PI