Project Enhancing My Personal Options (EMPOWER) was a 5-year NIAAA-funded R01 research project (5R01AA014322-03) designed to evaluate the efficacy of a brief intervention to reduce sexual risk behaviors among adolescents in outpatient treatment for alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems. The overall aim of the project was to evaluate a developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive intervention program for decreasing sexual risk behaviors among adolescents undergoing outpatient treatment for AOD problems. During the course of this project, over 800 participants were randomly assigned to one of two intervention conditions: Guided Self-Change Intervention for HIV Risk Behavior + Treatment as Usual (GSC-HIV), or Treatment as Usual (TAU) provided by The Starting Place (TSP). This clinic-based intervention consisted of 4 individual-format sessions of HIV risk reduction counseling. Participants in GSC-HIV were assessed immediately before and after intervention, and at 3-, 6-, and 9-month follow-up contacts.


Principal Investigator: Jonathan Tubman, Ph.D.

Co-Investigators: Eric Wagner, Ph.D., Staci Leon Morris, Psy.D., Andres Gil, Ph.D., & Marilyn Montgomery, Ph.D.


  • Cordaro, M., Tubman, J.G., Wagner, E.F., & Morris, S.L. (2012). Treatment process predictors of program completion or dropout among minority adolescents enrolled in a brief motivational substance abuse intervention. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse21(1), 51-68.
  • Oshri, A., Tubman, J.G., & Burnette, M.L. (2012). Childhood maltreatment histories, alcohol and other drug use symptoms, and sexual risk behavior in a treatment sample of adolescents. American Journal of Public Health102(S2), S250-S257.
  • Tubman, J.G., Des Rosiers, S.E., Schwartz, S.J., & O’Hare, T. (2012). The use of the Risky Sex Scale among adolescents receiving treatment services for substance use problems: Factor structure and predictive validity. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment43(3), 359-365.
  • Tubman, J.G., Oshri, A., Taylor, H.L., & Morris, S.L. (2011). Maltreatment clusters among youth in outpatient substance abuse treatment: Co-occurring patterns of psychiatric symptoms and sexual risk behaviors. Archives of Sexual Behavior40(2), 301-309.