Robin J. Mermelstein, PhD

Professor of Psychology and Director of IHRP

Dr. Mermelstein's research interests fall broadly in the area of tobacco use, with studies ranging from longitudinal examinations of the etiology of youth smoking to cessation interventions for adult smokers.

Since the mid 1990s, she has been the principal investigator of a series of studies, including a current program project, funded by the National Cancer Institute to investigate trajectories of adolescent and young adult smoking, with a focus on social and emotional contextual factors. In addition, she has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to examine factors related to youth smoking, and by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and NCI for studies of adult smoking cessation. Other areas of current research focus include health behaviors of young adults and motivational interventions to increase smoking cessation.

Dr. Mermelstein is the 2014–2015 president of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. She serves on the Institute of Medicine's committtee studying Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age for Purchasing Tobacco Products and on national research review committees of the National Institutes of Health. She directed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's national program office of Partners with Tobacco Use Research Centers: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Advancing Science and Policy Studies. As part of this program, RWJF collaborated with both NCI and the National Institute on Drug Abuse in funding the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers.

Research Interests

Etiology and progression of health-promoting and health compromising behaviors among adolescents and adults; tobacco use (very broadly), with studies ranging from longitudinal examinations of the etiology of youth smoking to cessation interventions for adolescent and adult smokers; behavioral health risk reduction and interventions

Recent and Noteworthy Publications

Coon H, Piasecki TM, Cook EH, Dunn D, Mermelstein RJ, Weiss RB, Cannon DS. Association of the CHRNA4 neuronal nicotinic receptor subunit gene with frequency of binge drinking in young adults. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014 Apr;38(4):930-7. [See abstract.]

Sokolovsky AW, Mermelstein RJ, Hedeker D. Factors predicting compliance to ecological momentary assessment among adolescent smokers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2013 Oct 4. [Epub ahead of print] [See abstract.]

Pugach O, Hedeker D, Richmond MJ, Sokolovsky A, Mermelstein R. Modeling mood variation and covariation among adolescent smokers: application of a bivariate location-scale mixed-effects model. Nicotine Tob Res. 2014 May;16 Suppl 2:S151-8. [See abstract.]

Piasecki TM, Trela CJ, Hedeker D, Mermelstein RJ. Smoking antecedents: separating between-and within-person effects of tobacco dependence in a multiwave ecological momentary assessment investigation of adolescent smoking. Nicotine Tob Res. 2014 May;16 Suppl 2:S119-26. [See abstract.]

Cannon DS, Mermelstein RJ, Hedeker D, Coon H, Cook EH, McMahon WM, Hamil C, Dunn D, Weiss RB. Effect of neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Genes (CHRN) on longitudinal cigarettes per day in adolescents and young adults. Nicotine Tob Res. 2014 Feb;16(2):137-44. [See abstract.]

Schuster RM, Mermelstein R, Wakschlag L. Gender-specific relationships between depressive symptoms, marijuana use, parental communication and risky sexual behavior in adolescence. J Youth Adolesc. 2013 Aug;42(8):1194-209. Epub 2012 Aug 29. [See abstract.]

Metzger A, Wakschlag LS, Anderson R, Darfler A, Price J, Flores Z, Mermelstein R. Information management strategies within conversations about cigarette smoking: parenting correlates and longitudinal associations with teen smoking. Dev Psychol. 2013 Aug;49(8):1565-78. [See abstract.]

Selya AS, Wakschlag LS, Dierker LC, Rose JS, Hedeker D, Mermelstein RJ. Exploring alternate processes contributing to the association between maternal smoking and the smoking behavior among young adult offspring. Nicotine Tob Res. 2013 Nov;15(11):1873-82. [See abstract.]

Hernandez C, Kim H, Mauleon G, Ruiz A, Robinson JK, Mermelstein RJ. A pilot program in collaboration with community centers to increase awareness and participation in skin cancer screening among Latinos in Chicago. J Cancer Educ. 2013 Jun;28(2):342-5.

Weinstein SM, Mermelstein RJ. Dynamic associations of negative mood and smoking across the development of smoking in adolescence. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2013;42(5):629-42. [See abstract.]

Dierker L, Selya A, Piasecki T, Rose J, Mermelstein R. Alcohol problems as a signal for sensitivity to nicotine dependence and future smoking. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Oct 1;132(3):688-93. [See abstract.]

Mermelstein RJ, Revenson TA. Applying theory across settings, behaviors, and populations: Translational challenges and opportunities. Health Psychol. 2013 May;32(5):592-6. [See abstract.]

Rose JS, Dierker LC, Hedeker D, Mermelstein R. An integrated data analysis approach to investigating measurement equivalence of DSM nicotine dependence symptoms. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Apr 1;129(1-2):25-32. [See abstract.]

Selya AS, Dierker LC, Rose JS, Hedeker D, Tan X, Li R, Mermelstein RJ. Time-varying effects of smoking quantity and nicotine dependence on adolescent smoking regularity. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Mar 1;128(3):230-7. [See abstract.]

Curry SJ, Mermelstein RJ, Emery SL, Sporer AK, Berbaum ML, Campbell RT, Flay B, Warnecke RB. A national evaluation of community-based youth cessation programs: end of program and twelve-month outcomes. Am J Community Psychol. 2013 Mar;51(1-2):15-29. [See abstract.]

Weinstein SM, Mermelstein RJ. Influences of mood variability, negative moods, and depression on adolescent cigarette smoking. Psychol Addict Behav. 2013 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print] [See abstract.]

Richmond MJ, Mermelstein RJ, Wakschlag LS. Direct observations of parenting and real-time negative affect among adolescent smokers and nonsmokers. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2013;42(5):617-28. [See abstract.]

Schuster RM, Hertel AW, Mermelstein R. Cigar, cigarillo, and little cigar use among current cigarette-smoking adolescents. Nicotine Tob Res. 2013 May;15(5):925-31. Epub 2012 Oct 15. [See abstract.]Zhan W, Dierker LC, Rose JS, Selya A, Mermelstein RJ. The natural course of nicotine dependence symptoms among adolescent smokers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2012 Dec;14(12):1445-52. Epub 2012 Mar 15. [See abstract.]

Hernandez C, Calero D, Robinson G, Mermelstein R, Robinson JK. Comparison of sunscreen availability in Chicago Hispanic and non-Hispanic neighborhood. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2012 Oct;28(5):244-9. [See abstract.]

Rose JS, Lee CT, Dierker LC, Selya AS, Mermelstein RJ. Adolescent nicotine dependence symptom profiles and risk for future daily smoking. Addict Behav. 2012 Oct;37(10):1093-100. [See abstract.]

Schuster RM, Crane NA, Mermelstein R, Gonzalez R. The influence of inhibitory control and episodic memory on the risky sexual behavior of young adult cannabis users. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2012 Sep;18(5):827-833. [See abstract.]

Moadel AB, Bernstein SL, Mermelstein RJ, Arnsten JH, Dolce EH, Shuter J. A randomized controlled trial of a tailored group smoking cessation intervention for HIV-infected smokers. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2012 Oct 1;61(2):208-215. [See abstract.]

Selya SA, Dierker LC, Rose JS, Hedeker D, Mermelstein RJ. Risk factors for adolescent smoking: Parental smoking and the mediating role of nicotine dependence. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 Aug 1;124(3):311-8. [See abstract.]

Hertel AW, Mermelstein RJ. Smoker identity and smoking escalation among adolescents. Health Psychol. 2012 Jul;31(4):467-75. [See abstract.]

Suls JM, Luger TM, Curry SJ, Mermelstein RJ, Sporer AK, An LC. Efficacy of smoking-cessation interventions for young adults: a meta-analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2012 Jun;42(6):655-62. [See abstract.]

Schuster RM, Hertel AW, Mermelstein R. Cigar, cigarillo, and little cigar use among current cigarette-smoking adolescents. Nicotine Tob Res. 2013 May;15(5):925-31. Epub 2012 Oct 15. [See abstract.]Zhan W, Dierker LC, Rose JS, Selya A, Mermelstein RJ. The natural course of nicotine dependence symptoms among adolescent smokers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2012 Dec;14(12):1445-52. Epub 2012 Mar 15. [See abstract.]

Hedeker D, Mermelstein RJ, Demirtas H. Modeling between-subject and within-subject variances in ecological momentary assessment data using mixed-effects location scale models. Stat Med. 2012 Nov 30;31(27):3328-3336. Epub 2012 Mar 15. [See abstract.]

Selya AS, Rose JS, Dierker LC, Hedeker D, Mermelstein RJ. A practical guide to calculating Cohen's f(2), a measure of local effect size, from PROC MIXED. Front Psychol. 2012;3:111. [See abstract.]

Gonzalez R, Schuster RM, Mermelstein RJ, Vassileva J, Martin EM, Diviak KR. Performance of young adult cannabis users on neurocognitive measures of impulsive behavior and their relationship to symptoms of cannabis use disorders. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2012;34(9):962-76. [See abstract.]

Liu LC, Hedeker D, Mermelstein RJ. Modeling nicotine dependence: an application of a longitudinal IRT model for the analysis of Adolescent Nicotine Dependence Syndrome Scale. Nicotine Tob Res. 2012;31(27):3328-3336. [See abstract.]

Demirtas H, Hedeker D, Mermelstein RJ. Simulation of massive public health data by power polynomials. Stat Med. 2012;31(27):3337-3346. [See abstract.]

Hernandez C, Mermelstein R, Robinson JK, Yudkowsky R. Assessing students' ability to detect melanomas using standardized patients and moulage. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2013 Mar;68(3):e83-8. Epub 2011 Dec 23. [See abstract.]

Richmond MJ, Mermelstein RJ, Metzger A. Heterogeneous friendship affiliation, problem behaviors, and emotional outcomes among high-risk adolescents. Prev Sci. 2012 Jun;13(3):267-77. [See abstract.]

Sterling KL, Mermelstein R. Examining hookah smoking among a cohort of adolescent ever smokers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2011 Dec;13(12):1202-9. [See abstract.]

Houser-Marko L, Curry SJ, Mermelstein RJ, Emery S, Pugach O. A comparison of mandated versus volunteer adolescent participants in youth tobacco cessation programs. Addict Behav. 2011 Sep;36(9):937-40. [See abstract.]

Wakschlag LS, Metzger A, Darfler A, Ho J, Mermelstein R, Rathouz PJ. The Family Talk About Smoking (FTAS) paradigm: new directions for assessing parent-teen communications about smoking. Nicotine Tob Res. 2011 Feb;13(2):103-12. [See abstract.]

Metzger A, Dawes N, Mermelstein R, Wakschlag L. Longitudinal modeling of adolescents' activity involvement, problem peer associations, and youth smoking. J Appl Dev Psychol. 2011 Jan;32(1):1-9. [See abstract.]

Collins LM, Baker TB, Mermelstein RJ, Piper ME, Jorenby DE, Smith SS, Christiansen BA, Schlam TR, Cook JW, Fiore MC. The multiphase optimization strategy for engineering effective tobacco use interventions. Ann Behav Med. 2011;41(2):208-26. [See abstract.]

Baker TB, Mermelstein R, Collins LM, Piper ME, Jorenby DE, Smith SS, Christiansen BA, Schlam TR, Cook JW, Fiore MC. New methods for tobacco dependence treatment research. Ann Behav Med. 2011;41(2):192-207. [See abstract.]

Riley WT, Rivera DE, Atienza AA, Nilsen W, Allison SM, Mermelstein R. Health behavior models in the age of mobile interventions: Are our theories up to the task? Transl Behav Med. 2011;1(1);53-71. [See abstract.]

Curry SJ, Mermelstein RJ, Sporer AK, Emery SL, Berbaum ML, Campbell RT, Carusi C, Flay B, Taylor K, Warnecke RB. A national evaluation of community-based youth cessation programs: design and implementation Eval Rev. 2010 Dec;34(6):487-512. [See abstract.]

Colvin PJ, Mermelstein RJ. Adolescents' smoking outcome expectancies and acute emotional responses following smoking. Nicotine Tob Res. 2010;12(12):1203-10. [See abstract.]

Heinz AJ, Kassel JD, Berbaum M, Mermelstein R. Adolescents' expectancies for smoking to regulate affect predict smoking behavior and nicotine dependence over time. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010 Sep 1;111(1-2):128-35. [See abstract.]

Lee A, Hankin BL, Mermelstein RJ. Perceived social competence, negative social interactions, and negative cognitive style predict depressive symptoms during adolescence. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2010;39(5):603-15. [See abstract.]

Dierker L, Mermelstein R. Early emerging nicotine-dependence symptoms: a signal of propensity for chronic smoking behavior in adolescents. J Pediatr. 2010;156(5):818-22. [See abstract.]

Emery S, Lee J, Curry SJ, Johnson T, Sporer AK, Mermelstein R, Flay B, Warnecke R. Finding needles in a haystack: a methodology for identifying and sampling community-based youth smoking cessation programs. Eval Rev. 2010;34(1):35-51. [See abstract.]

Sterling K, Curry S, Sporer A, Emery S, Mermelstein R. Implementation fidelity of packaged teen smoking cessation treatments delivered in community-based settings. Health Educ Res. 2009;24(6):941-8. [See abstract.]

Hernandez C, Mermelstein RJ. A conceptual framework for advancing melanoma health disparities research. Arch Dermatol. 2009;145(12):1442-6.

Mermelstein RJ, Colvin PJ, Klingemann SD. Dating and changes in adolescent cigarette smoking: Does partner smoking behavior matter? Nicotine Tob Res. 2009;11(10):1226-30. [See abstract.]

Sterling KL, Mermelstein R, Turner L, Diviak K, Flay B, Shiffman S. Examining the psychometric properties and predictive validity of a youth-specific version of the Nicotine Dependence Syndrome Scale (NDSS) among teens with varying levels of smoking. Addict Behav. 2009;34(6-7):616-9. [See abstract.]

Kobus K, Mermelstein R. Bridging basic and clinical science with policy studies: The Partners with Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers experience. Nicotine Tob Res. 2009;11(5):467-74. [See abstract.]

Hedeker D, Mermelstein RJ, Berbaum ML, Campbell RT. Modeling mood variation associated with smoking: an application of a heterogeneous mixed-effects model for analysis of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) data. Addiction. 2009;104(2):297-307. [See abstract.]

Curry SJ, Mermelstein RJ, Sporer AK. Therapy for specific problems: youth tobacco cessation. Annu Rev Psychol. 2009;60:229-55. [See abstract.]

Fiore M, Jaén CR, Baker TB, Bailey WC, Bennett G, Benowitz NL, et al. A clinical practice guideline for treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 update. A U.S. Public Health Service report. Am J Prev Med. 2008;35(2):158-76. [See abstract.]

Scott WD, Beevers CG, Mermelstein RJ. Depression vulnerable and nonvulnerable smokers after a failure experience: examining cognitive self-regulation and motivation. Behav Modif. 2008;32(4):519-39.

Weaver K, Campbell R, Mermelstein R, Wakschlag L. Pregnancy smoking in context: The influence of multiple levels of stress. Nicotine Tob Res. 2008;10(6):1065-73.

Hedeker D, Mermelstein RJ, Demirtas H. An application of a mixed-effects location scale model for analysis of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) data. Biometrics. 2008;64(2):627-34. [See abstract.]

Mermelstein R. Moving tobacco prevention outside the classroom. Lancet. 2008;371(9624):1556-7.

Weinstein S, Mermelstein R, Shiffman S, Flay B. Mood variability and cigarette smoking escalation among adolescents. Psychol Addict Behav. 2008;22:504-13. [See abstract.]

Turner L, Mermelstein R, Hintsman B, Warnecke R. Social support as a moderator of the relationship between recent history of depression and smoking cessation among lower educated women. Nicotine Tob Res. 2008;10:201-212.

Mermelstein R, Kobus K, Clayton R. Transdisciplinary tobacco use research: A decade of progress. Nicotine Tob Res. Nicotine Tob Res. 2007;9 Suppl 4:S519-22.

Kobus K, Mermelstein R, Ponkshe P. Communications strategies to broaden the reach of tobacco use research: examples from the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2007;9 Suppl 4:S571-82.

Hedeker D, Mermelstein RJ, Demirtas H. Analysis of binary outcomes with missing data: missing = smoking, last observation carried forward, and a little multiple imputation. Addiction. 2007;102(10):1564-73.

Weinstein SM, Mermelstein RJ, Hankin BL, Hedeker D, Flay BR. Longitudinal patterns of daily affect and global mood during adolescence. J Res Adolesc. 2007;17(3):587-600.

Weinstein SM, Mermelstein R. Relations between daily activities and adolescent mood: the role of autonomy. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2007;36(2):182-94.

Hankin BL, Mermelstein R, Roesch L. Sex differences in adolescent depression: stress exposure and reactivity models. Child Dev. 2007;78(1):279-95.

Curry SJ, Emery S, Sporer AK, Mermelstein R, Flay BR, Berbaum M, Warnecke RB, Johnson T, Mowery P, Parsons J, Harmon L, Hund L, Wells H. A national survey of tobacco cessation programs for youths. Am J Public Health. 2007;97(1):171-7.

Mermelstein R, Hedeker D, Flay B, Shiffman S. Real-time data capture and adolescent cigarette smoking: moods and smoking. In: Stone A, Shiffman S, Atienza A, Nebeling L, eds. The Science of Real-Time Data Capture: Self-Reports in Health Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2007:117-135.

Mermelstein R, Turner L. Web-based support as an adjunct to group-based smoking cessation for adolescents. Nicotine Tob Res. 2006;8 (suppl 1): S69-S76.

Honors and Awards

Distinguished Clinical Mentor Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine
Fellow, Society of Behavioral Medicine
University Scholar, UIC