Melissa Slavin



Dr. Slavin received her Doctorate of Philosophy (2019) and Master of Arts (2017) in Clinical Psychology from the University at Albany. She completed her predoctoral internship at the Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven. Prior to this, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Slavin is passionate about advocating for drug policy reform that reduces overcriminalization of non-violent offenses. Her research has focused on identifying intrapersonal (e.g., cognitive expectancies, motivational states, personality traits) and interpersonal (e.g., sexual abuse, physical violence) factors associated with substance misuse and addictive behaviors, including problematic gambling and compulsive sexual behavior. She intends for her research to inform prevention measures and harm reduction interventions that can be used as alternatives to incarceration. Her dissertation examined the effects of harsh restrictions on “psychological reactance”, a motivational state characterized by negative affect and cognition that may influence individuals’ substance use. Dr. Slavin would like to continue research on personal and environmental risk and protective factors for addiction, particularly among justice-involved individuals.