Danelle Stevens-Watkins, Ph.D.

Danelle Stevens-Watkins


Dr. Stevens-Watkins is an Associate professor, Director of Graduate Studies, and Assistant Vice President for Research (Diversity and Inclusion). She earned her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 2008 and her MA in Clinical Psychology in 2004 from Spalding University. She completed an APA accredited internship in the residential drug abuse treatment program at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington in 2007. She is a core faculty member of the Center for Health Equity Transformation and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Drug and Alcohol Research. Broadly, her research focuses on health disparities and barriers to service utilization among African American populations. She has current projects focused on breastfeeding and maternal morbidity among African American women. In addition, she has a decade of funding from NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) as PI or Co-I. Her projects have focused on criminality, drug use, and HIV risk among African American women. She completed an NIH (K08) Mentored Career Development Award with a research emphasis on the dynamic interaction between anxiety, depression, drug abuse, and HIV risk behaviors among African American male prisoners. She currently has an NIH R01 from NIDA titled: Research Examining Factors Associated with the Opioid Crisis among Under-served African Americans (REFOCUS).

Dr. Stevens-Watkins teaches Practicum, Counseling Techniques, Multicultural Psychology, Psychopathology, and Substance Abuse Counseling. She is a Licensed Psychologist in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and her theoretical orientation is an integration of rational emotive behavioral therapy and interpersonal process therapy. She is a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Representative peer-reviewed manuscripts:

Wheeler, P., Dogan, J., Stevens-Watkins, D. & Stoops, W. (2021) Sleep time differs among people who co-use cocaine and cannabis compared to people who only use cocaine. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. (in press)

Staton, M., Bunting, A.M., *Pike, E. & Stevens-Watkins, D. (2021) A latent class analysis of rural women who use drugs and commit crimes. Journal of Rural and Social Sciences. (in press)

Dogan, J., Stevens-Watkins, D., Knighton, J., Wheeler, P., & Hargons, C. (2020). Perceived need for drug treatment among African American male drug-using prisoners. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. (in press).

Dogan, J., Thrasher, S., Thorpe, S., Hargons, C., & Stevens-Watkins, D. (2020). Cultural race-based stress and cannabis use among incarcerated African American men. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. (in press).

Wheeler, P., Stevens-Watkins, D., Dogan, J., & McCarthy, D., (2020) Polysubstance use among frequent marijuana users: An examination John Henryism Active Coping, psychiatric symptoms, and family social support among African American incarcerated men. Forthcoming in Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse PMCID:PMC32697626

Stevens-Watkins, D. (2020). Opioid-related overdose deaths among African Americans: Implications for research, practice and policy (in press). Drug and Alcohol Review, 39 (7), 857-861 PMCID:PMC32281200

Wheeler, P., Stevens-Watkins, D., Moody, M., Dogan, J., & Lewis, D. (2019). Culturally relevant risk and protective factors for nonmedical use of prescription opioids among incarcerated African American men. Addictive Behaviors, 93, 46-51. PMCID: PMC6488416.

Fisher, S., Al-Uqdah, S., Zapolski, T., Stevens-Watkins, D., Sheehan, C., Barnes, J., (2019). Person- context congruence, drug attitudes, and early adolescent substance us. Substance Use and Misuse, 54 (4), 628-638. PMCID: PMC6443431

Oser, C., Harp, K., Pullen, E., Bunting, A., Stevens-Watkins, D., & Staton, M. (2019) African American women’s tobacco and marijuana use: The effects of social context, substance use beliefs, and risk perceptions. Substance Use and Misuse, 54 (6), 873-884. PMCID: PMC6476643.

Knighton, J.S., Stevens-Watkins, D., Staton, M. & Pangburn, K. (2018). Trends and mental health correlates of nonmedical opioid use among criminal justice-involved African American men. Addictive Behaviors, 85, 14-20. PMCID:PMC6015550

Wheeler, P., Stevens-Watkins, D., Knighton, J., Mahaffey, C. & Lewis, D. (2018). Pre-incarceration rates of nonmedical use of prescription drugs among Black men from urban counties. Journal of Urban Health, 95 (4), 444-453. PMCID:PMC6095761


Grant Awards:

Principal Investigator (R01-DA049333)-REFOCUS-“Research Examining Factors Associated with the Opioid Crisis among Underserved African Americans” submitted to the National Institute on Health (NIH)-National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). $3,206,782 total cost (09/30/2020-07/31/2025) https://uknow.uky.edu/research/uk-project-receives-32-million-non-medical-prescription-opioid-use-research

Co-Investigator-(Criminal Justice Arm)-(UM1 DA049406- PI: Sharon Walsh) Kentucky CAN HEAL (Communities and Networks Helping End Addiction Long-term) This NIDA Research Site is developing and testing an integrated approach to address the opioid crisis through community partnerships. 04/17/2019-03/31/2023.

Co-Mentor-(NIH CTSA-UL1TR000117-PI: Phillip Kern)-Trainee Dr. Sycarah Fisher-NIH/ National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Institutional KL2. Adolescent Substance Use: School and Community Perspectives on School-Based Interventions. 75% salary support up to $100,000 per year, $50,000 for project related expenses. 07/01/2017-06/30/2019. $250,000 total cost.

Principal Investigator-University of Kentucky Center on Clinical and Translation Science-Junior Investigator Award. A pilot study grant to support a project titled "A Pilot Study to Test Feasibility of REMAS-CA (Real Men Are Safe-Culturally Adapted) on Drug Using African American Male Prisoners Nearing Community Re-entry". National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health-UL1TR000117. 01-15-2015-07-31-2017. $24,800 total cost.

Principal Investigator-Mentored Clinical Scientist Career Development Award (K08-DA-032296) titled “African American Male Offenders: Drug Use, Mental Health, and HIV Risk” competitive award funded through the National Institute of Health (NIH)-National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) on 05-01-12 through 04-30-17. $707,996 total cost.

Co-Investigator-Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research. Received investigator level support for project titled “African American Female Drug Users: HIV, Health Disparities, & Criminality” (R01-DA-022967-S1 PI: Carrie Oser; CoI: Danelle Stevens-Watkins). Funded through the National Institute of Health (NIH)-National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) 01-2010 through 1-31-2012. $125,000 total cost.