Research Assistant Professor
Alethea Desrosiers, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor in Global Practice at the Boston College School of Social Work, Research Program on Children and Adversity. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Massachusetts with a range of clinical practice experience with diverse populations. Her research program has focused on the development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based mental health interventions for disadvantaged youth and adults globally. Other specific research interests include applying human-centered design approaches to develop more effective mental health interventions and leveraging advances in technology to improve access to mental health services in low resource settings.
Dr. Desrosiers is currently Principal Investigator on a newly funded NIMH study that will employ user-centered design principles to develop and test mHealth tools to improve supervision and fidelity monitoring of community health workers delivering a family-based behavioral intervention to vulnerable families with young children in Sierra Leone. She is also leading an NIMH-funded implementation science study to investigate the indirect mental health benefits of a cognitive-behavioral therapy based intervention, the Youth Readiness Intervention (YRI), among peers and caregivers of youth who receive the intervention in Sierra Leone and is a Co-Investigator for a hybrid-implementation effectiveness trial (Youth FORWARD) to scale-up the YRI for high risk Sierra Leonean youth in the context of employment promotion programs.
Dr. Desrosiers previously served as Co-Investigator on three NIDA-funded randomized clinical trials to evaluate an evidence-based behavioral counseling intervention to reduce substance use and HIV risk behaviors among people with opioid use disorder in China, Malaysia, and the Russian Federation. Prior research projects also include a collaboration with the World Health Organization to develop a psychosocially-infused sexual and reproductive health intervention to improve well-being and sexual and reproductive health service usage among young, female Syrian refugees in the Middle East.
Desrosiers, A., Betancourt, T., Kergoat, Y., Servilli, C., Say, L., Kobeissi, L. (2020). A systematic review of sexual and reproductive health interventions for young people in humanitarian and lower-and-middle-income country settings. BMC Public Health, 20, 666.
Desrosiers, A., Kumar, P., Dayal, A., Alex, L., Akram, T., Betancourt, T. (2020). Diffusion and spillover effects of an evidence-based mental health intervention among peers and caregivers of high risk youth in Sierra Leone: study protocol. BMC Psychiatry, 20, 85.
Desrosiers, A., Vine, V., & Kershaw, T. (2019). “R U Mad?”: Computerized text analysis of affect in social media relates to stress and substance use among emerging adult, ethnic minority males. Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 32, 109-123.
Desrosiers, A., Blokhina, E., Zvartua, E., Krupitsky, E., Schottenfeld, R., & Chawarski, M. (2016). Psychiatric symptoms, quality of life, and HIV status among people using opioids in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 172, 60-65.
Desrosiers, A., Chooi, W., Zaharim, N., Ahmad, I., Yasin, A., Jaapar, S., Schottenfeld, R., Vicknasingam, B., Chawarski, M. (2016). Emerging drug use trends in Kelantan, Malaysia. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 48, 218-216.
Desrosiers, A., Sipsma, H., Kershaw, T., Divney, A., & Magriples, U. (2015). Emotion expression and substance use in newly parenting adolescents and young adults. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71, 684-695.
Desrosiers, A., Thompson, A., Divney, A., Magriples, A., & Kershaw, T. (2015). Romantic partner influences on substance use among pregnant and parenting young couples. Journal of Public Health, 38, 300-307.
R21 MH124071-01 (NIMH) • Principal-Investigator
mHealth Tools to Improve Service Delivery Quality of an Evidence-Based Family Home Visiting Intervention to Prevent Family Violence among High Risk Families in Sierra Leone
This exploratory study aims to apply a user-centered design approach to develop mHealth tools to improve supervision and fidelity monitoring of community health workers delivering a family-based behavioral home visiting intervention to high risk Sierra Leonean families with children aged 6 to 36 months.
R01 MH117359-01 (NIMH) • Co-Investigator
Expanding the Reach of Evidence-Based Mental Health Treatment: Diffusion and Spillover of Mental Health Benefits Among Peer Networks and Caregivers of Youth Facing Compounded Adversity in Sierra Leone
This implementation science study aims to investigate diffusion and spillover of mental health benefits of a CBT-based intervention among peers and caregivers of high risk youth receiving the intervention in Sierra Leone.
U19 MH109989 (NIMH) • Co-Investigator
Youth Forward: Capacity Building in Alternate Delivery Platforms and Implementation Models for Bringing Evidence-Based Behavior Interventions to Scale for Youth Facing Adversity in West Africa
This hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial aims to investigate a collaborative team approach to scaling up and sustaining a CBT-based intervention for high risk youth in Sierra Leone delivered via an employment promotion program.
R01 DA026797-03 (NIDA) • Co-Investigator
Behavioral Drug and HIV Risk Reduction with MMT in China
This randomized clinical trial compared the efficacy of MMT combined with one of three manually-guided behavioral counseling approaches in reducing HIV risk behaviors and illicit opiate use in China.
R01 DA027405-03 (NIDA) • Co-Investigator
Naltrexone and Behavioral Drug and HIV Risk Reduction Counseling in Russia
This randomized clinical trial evaluated the efficacy of two medication formulations of naltrexone and two manually-guided behavioral counseling conditions in reducing HIV risk behaviors and illicit opiate use in Russia.
R01 DA014718-05A1 (NIDA) • Co-Investigator
Drug Counseling and Abstinent-Contingent Take Home Buprenorphine in Malaysia
This randomized clinical trial evaluated whether behavioral counseling, abstinent-contingent take-home buprenorphine, or their combination improves efficacy of standard treatment for opiate dependence in Malaysia.
2019–present Research Assistant Professor in Global Practice, Boston College School of Social Work
2016–2017 Visiting Scientist, Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Global Health and Population
2012–2017 Associate Research Scientist, Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Substance Abuse Research
2011–2012 Postdoctoral Fellow, T32 Substance Abuse Prevention Training Grant, Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry