Lee Ann Kaskutas DrPH

Associate Adjunct Professor, Community Health Sciences
Senior Scientist & Co-Director of Training, Alcohol Research Group
  • DrPH - Behavioral Science, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
  • BS - Mathematics and French, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
  • PH 202G: Advanced Alcohol Research Seminar
Research Interests: 
  • Alcohol and drug treatment
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Drinking during pregnancy
  • How to measure drink size
  • How to measure recovery from alcohol and drug problems
Research Description: 

Lee Ann Kaskutas's overarching research interest is in non-professional solutions to alcohol and drug problems. She did her dissertation on a mutual aid group for women alcoholics, Women For Sobriety. Her early research was on the effectiveness of warning labels on alcoholic beverage containers. She has conducted cost effectiveness health services trials comparing medical/clinical model treatment to social/community model treatment. She has studied the utilization of Alcoholics Anonymous over time among treated and untreated problem and dependent drinkers, and the role of helping. She developed and conducted trials of two interventions. The first is a computer-based assessment and intervention focused on drink sizes, for use in prenatal clinics, aimed to help pregnant women understand how much they are drinking. The second is a manual-guided 12-step facilitation intervention for delivery in group settings by counselors in recovery. It is called MAAEZ, Making AA Easier. She has developed several scales, including one that measures AA involvement, another that captures the program philosophy of treatment programs, and a third that measures helping activities in recovery; a fourth scale measuring recovery is in progress.

Current Projects: 
  • First project: Working with diverse individuals in recovery, to understand how they define recovery. The field knows a lot about the problems associated with alcohol and drug abuse, but very little about the positive and productive ways of being that are associated with recovery from alcohol and drugs. The goal of the study is to come up with a psychometrically valid Recovery Scale that defines recovery.
  • Second project: Studying the course of drinking and service utilization over 11 years among untreated problem drinkers. The study uses latent class growth curve analyses to study the role of treatment versus self-help and social network support.
  • Third project: Directing training at the Alcohol Research Group. The project supports three pre-docs and four post-docs.
Selected Publications: 

Kaskutas L.A., Subbaraman M., Witbrodt J, Zemore S. Effectiveness of Making Alcoholics Anonymous Easier (MAAEZ), a group format 12-step facilitation approach. J Subst Abuse Treat, 2009, 37(3):228-23.

Kaskutas, L.A., Bond J, Ammon Avalos L. 7-year trajectories of Alcoholics Anonymous attendance and associations with treatment, Addictive Behaviors, 2009, 34(12):1029-1035.

Kaskutas, L.A. Alcoholics Anonymous effectiveness: faith meets science. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 2009, 28: 145-157.

Kaskutas, Lee Ann; Witbrodt, Jane; and French, Michael T. (2004). Outcomes and costs of day hospital treatment and nonmedical day treatment for chemical dependency. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 65(3): 371-382. (B997)

Kaskutas, Lee Ann; Bond, Jason; and Humphreys, Keith (2002). Social networks as mediators of the effect of Alcoholics Anonymous. Addiction 97(7): 891-900. (B929)

Kaskutas, Lee Ann; and Graves, Karen (2000). An alternative to standard drinks as a measure of alcohol consumption. Journal of Substance Abuse 12: 67-78. (B888)

Kaskutas, Lee Ann. (2000). Understanding drinking during pregnancy among urban American Indians and African Americans: health messages, risk beliefs, and how we measure consumption. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 24, 1241-1250. (B885)

Kaskutas, Lee Ann (1995). Interpretations of risk: the use of scientific information in the development of the alcohol warning label policy. The International Journal of the Addictions 30(12): 1519-1548. (B656)

Kaskutas, Lee Ann & Graves, Karen. (1994). Relationship between cumulative exposure to health messages and awareness and behavior-related drinking during pregnancy. American Journal of Health Promotion 9(2), 115-124. (B602)

Kaskutas, Lee Ann. (1994). What do women get out of self help? Reasons for attending Women for Sobriety and Alcoholics Anonymous. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 11(3), 185-195. (B594)

Other interests: 
  • California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) Director’s Award for Innovative and Effective Approaches to Research (2012)
  • Distinguished Academic Partner Award from School of Public Health, UC Berkeley (2008)
  • R. Brinkley Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award from American Society of Addiction Medicine (2007)
  • Young Investigator Award from Research Society on Alcoholism (1998)
Profile Updated: January 11, 2011