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Ashley Watts

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Ashley Watts received her Masters of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Psychology from Emory University. Then, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Missouri, where she was awarded a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from NIAAA (and is funded on that award through 2026).

Dr. Watts’ research aims to understand the causes and consequences of mental illness (psychopathology), with a specific focus on addiction. Her research aims: 1) to improve how we classify various forms of mental illness, 2) to identify causes of mental illness and addiction, 3) to understand what contributes to overlap among addiction and other forms of psychopathology, and 3) to characterize risk profiles for substance involvement across the lifespan. To inform these topics, Dr. Watts draws on methods from a wide array of disciplines, including developmental and adult psychopathology, behavioral and molecular genetics, quantitative modeling, psychometrics, and psychiatric epidemiology.

Dr. Watts will be recruiting a graduate student this fall. She is particularly excited to work with students with interests in addiction heterogeneity, quantitative modeling, and genetics. See the representative publications for relevant papers and the CV for a complete list of my publications.

Additionally, Dr Watts will be recruiting a lab manager and postdoctoral fellow starting late spring of 2023. If you are interested in working with me, please feel free to contact me.

Representative Publications

Watts, A.L., Boness, C.L., Loeffelman, J.E., Steinley, D., & Sher, K.J. (2021). Does crude measurement contribute to observed unidimensionality of psychological constructs? A demonstration with DSM-5 alcohol use disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 130, 512-524[PREPRINT] [OPEN MATERIALS]

Boness, C.L., Watts, A.L., Moeller, K.N., & Sher, K.J. (2021). The Etiologic, Theory-based, Ontogenetic Hierarchical (ETOH) framework of Alcohol Use Disorder: A translational systematicreview of reviews. Psychological Bulletin, 147, 1075-1123. [PREPRINT] [PDF]

* Watts, A.L., * Latzman, R.D., Boness, C.L., Kotov, R., Keyser-Marcus, L., DeYoung, C.G., … & Ramey, T. (in press). New approaches to deep phenotyping in addictions. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. [PREPRINT] * indicates shared first authorship

Watts, A.L., Watson, D., Heath, A.C., & Sher, K.J. (under review). Alcohol use disorder criteria exhibit different comorbidity patterns. [OSF]

Watts, A.L., Lane, S.P., Bonifay, W., Steinley, D., & Meyer, F.A.C. (2020). Building theories on top of, and not independent of, statistical models: The case of the p-factor. Psychological Inquiry, 31, 310-320. [PREPRINT] [PDF]

Watts, A.L., Poore, H.E., & Waldman, I.D. (2019). Riskier tests of the validity of the bifactor model of psychopathology. Clinical Psychological Science, 7, 1285-1303. [PDF]