Project Title: Abstinent Social Support in Oxford House
Funding Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse
Leonard A. Jason, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Bradley Olson, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator
Ron Harvey, Ph.D., Project Director

The primary aim of this project was to employ a randomized design to more closely study the role played by post-release aftercare in the outcomes of 270 criminal offenders who received in-prison substance abuse treatment. This study compared the relative effectiveness of  Therapeutic Community (TC) aftercare to an Oxford House (OH) aftercare alternative that provides a supportive living environment without the professional treatment of TC aftercare.  Bringing scientific methods to the examination of TCs and the OH community-based recovery models for addiction will help identify the active ingredients of these recovery settings.  Few if any comparison groups have provided a residential setting that emphasizes socialization and abstinence from drugs and alcohol, a hallmark of TC aftercare settings.  The proposed study utilized ex-offenders randomly assigned to either TCs, OHs, or usual care post-release settings, and examine program effects (i.e., substance use, criminal and health outcomes), and economic factors associated with these models. All data have been collected and are now being analyzed. Research findings from a study that contrasts these different approaches has the potential of influencing practice and informing policy. 


Current projects and personnel working on different aspects of this study:

Lenny Jason is working on the first outcome paper.


Ron Harvey is finishing his dissertation on survival analysis with OHs.


Brad Olson is working on his mixed methods paper dealing with the expungement data.


Elias Kithuri is working on dissertation data collection in Kenya dealing with recovery issues.


Chris Beasley is writing up papers from his dissertation on P/E fit within OHs. He is also working on a paper with Jackie and Craig involving personality and involvement with AA. Charmaine and Mike are also working with him on a paper involving T girls.


Olya Rabin-Belyaev is working on a paper dealing with predictors of self-efficacy for abstinence. She is also working on a paper with Corrine involving Substance Abuse and Re-Entry, and another on physical and sexual abuse. Olya also has dissertation papers to publish on values in academic community psychology and another one on education and degree received.


Ed Stevens is working to publish two papers based on his dissertation involving sponsors.


Sarah Callahan is working on her masterís thesis involving women and employment, and a F31 on social networks. The heroin paper has been sent off. She is also working on the evaluation of the Ghana house in Africa. She is also working with the following volunteers: Christina Campagna (people who are homeless and their needs), Adrian Bahena (criminal history severity and drug of choice),Patricia Douglas (criminal history disclosure self-efficacy), and Simona Ciobotaru (working on family financial support).


Chris Whipple is working on predictors of self-efficacy at baseline.


Stephanie Nisle is working with Sarahís employment data, as well as the couples OH.


Bronwyn Hunter is working on paper dealing with kids in OH (Sarah is helping on this). Bronwyn is also working with Allie on another paper, as well as Emily. Bronwyn is also writing a paper that summarizes all our past OH studies.


Emily May just submitted a paper with Bronwyn, and anew project will be an overview of OH studies published to date.


Ariel Stone is writing a literature review on social networks. She will be collaborating with Caroline and Claire on the IPA.


Caroline Witek just sent off Leadership paper. She is beginning to work on IPA items with Claire and Ariel.


Claire Wilmoth is working with Dina/Roberto on the Latino versus Ex-offender paper, as well as the baseline setting data set with Dina.


Dina Chavira is working with Claire on the timeline baseline project, as well as the comparison of the Latino to the Ex-Offender data set. This is the community participation study.


John Majer is working with Anne on new project with data set involving psychiatric co-morbidsubstance abuse.


Anne Komer is doing literature review on the paper with John. She is also working on the leadership data set.


Matt Cavers is working with the Datcap economic data set, as well as an evaluation of Steppingstone.


Rebecca is working on Important Activities data set.




Project Title:
Community participatory intervention with high-risk African-American women
Funding Source: National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Leonard A. Jason, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Doreen Salina, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Daphna Ram, Ph.D., Project Director

It is critical to evaluate gender-specific residential post-release programs that provide at-risk women with supports that serve to increase abstinence from substance use, reduce HIV risk behaviors, reduce psychological symptoms, decrease recidivism, and help attain better health outcomes. It is important to identify the types of settings or interventions that might promote health service utilization and more positive health outcomes following release from jail. Structure and supportive recovery homes may be effective in promoting health outcomes and increasing positive health behaviors through social support (Jason et al., 2006b). From initial contact onward, the DePaul research team and the Oxford House community have been active participants and both endeavored to maintain the alliance. The University team not only strived to cultivate collaborative and cooperative relationships with Oxford House, but also was committed to active involvement in the process of creating change. Some examples of collaborative endeavors of the research team and Oxford House include the involvement in the establishment of the first Menís, first Women's, and first Women with Childrenís Oxford Houses in Illinois, as well as historical and ongoing involvement in activities that support the national growth of Oxford House. The present study examined the potentially different roles of abstinence-specific and general social support for African-American women who are exiting from the criminal justice system. A pretest-posttest experimental design will be employed that compares communal-living settings supportive of abstinence (i.e., Oxford House condition) to a usual care condition. We hypothesized that women assigned to the Oxford House condition will report reduced HIV risk behaviors and better health outcomes (i.e., better medical adherence and health service utilization), decreased recidivism, increased abstinence from substance use, improved psychological functioning, and higher levels of support than women assigned to the usual care condition at all follow-up intervals. Our data have now been collected and we are involved in data analysis.

Below are staff involved in data analysis and write up of studies:



PAR Project


Doreen Salina is revising a paper for possible publication. Working on psychiatric baseline data with Daphna and Jocelyn


Daphna Ram is working on sense of community paper.

Daphna is revising a paper on social support and networks.

She is also working on attachment theory and making a connection to our data set.


Jocelyn is working on Edís data set involving children and harm.

Katie is working with Jocelyn on a Duos funded project.


Danielle Chiaramonte is working on a GIS mapping of our OHs and health systems.


Lauren Vollinger is using our baseline data to understand the settings participants lived in.


BreAnna Pope is studyingempowerment and stressors for CORE, which are divided into internal and external.


Beth is an Adler student working on her ideas for a dissertation with the PAR data set.


Megan is close to finishing her custody paper.


Allie has submitted her empowerment paper with Bronwyn.


Nicole Landreth is working on a factor analysis of the CORE scale.


Completed Grant


Project Title: Reducing Health Disparities within the Hispanic/Latino Population

Funding Source: National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Leonard A. Jason, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Josefina Alvarez, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator

Julia DiGangi, Ph.D., Project Director


Culturally-modified Oxford Houses may be a more effective option for Hispanic/Latino individuals who are Spanish-dominant, less comfortable with U.S. culture, or identify more strongly with their ethnic culture. In these Houses, all residents are Hispanic/Latino, and participants have the option of speaking English, Spanish, or a mixture of both languages. Culturally-modified Oxford Houses provide a more culturally-congruent experience such as welcoming visits by extended family members. In addition, residents of Culturally-modified Oxford Houses are more likely to use culturally-congruent communication styles, characterized by an emphasis on relationships, downplaying direct conflict in relationships in order to preserve harmony, and respect. In the present study, we compared the outcomes of Hispanic/Latino individuals assigned to a Culturally-modified Oxford Houses to those assigned to a Traditional Oxford House. Data have been collected and analyzed, and we are currently writing up several final papers on this data set.

Below are projects ongoing with this data set:

Josefina Alvarez is going to resubmit Elbiaís paper on ethnic identity.

Josefina is working with the baseline paper begun by Samantha/Steph paper.

Josefinaís student Brereton has a paper that is under review with the International Journal of Self-Help and Self-Care.

Josefinaís other students, Andrea Goddard and Roberto, also from Adler are working on the Latino data sets for their dissertations.


Roberto Lopez has submitted his Texas study to a journal and is waiting to hear a decision.

Robertoís paper with Gloria on psychosocial factors needs to be out to a journal.

Roberto and Dina are working on a paper that compares baseline ex-offenders to Latinos. 

Roberto is also finishing a paper on a measure of acculturation.

Roberto is also supervising Alexa who worked on a Duos project last year on parent child relationships, and she will work to finish that paper and project.


Daisy is revising her paper for Therapeutic Communities, which was provisionally accepted.


Julia has submitted a paper dealing with PTSD symptomatology.