Matthew R. Lee

Matthew R. Lee
Research Assistant Professor
Psychology Building Room, 105
Research Interests: 

I am a lifespan-developmental addictions researcher. Although directly focused on problem drinking, my research can serve the broader purpose of understanding how all sorts of risky behaviors are reduced as individuals mature. Much of my graduate and postdoctoral research studied “maturing out” of problem drinking during young adulthood, with an emphasis on understanding family roles as influences on problem-drinking reductions. My NIH-funded K99/R00 Pathway to Independence grant (awarded May 2016) reflects an extension of my earlier research toward investigating desistance from problem drinking across the adult lifespan. An overarching objective of the K99/R00 project is to investigate differences across periods of the adult lifespan in mechanisms of problem-drinking desistance, as such insights can guide lifespan-developmentally-informed clinical and public-health interventions. Desistance mechanisms of interest in this work include family-roles (e.g., marriage, parenthood), personality maturation, "problem recognition," "effortful change," and health concerns. The award’s upcoming three-year independent (R00) phase will have a particular focus on health-related processes of problem-drinking desistance in midlife and older adulthood, facilitated by reassessments of participants from a longitudinal, multigenerational study of familial alcohol use disorder.


I have experience teaching undergraduate courses in Introductory Statistics, Research Methods, Drugs and Behavior, and Health Psychology. I hope to have the opportunity to teach advanced courses in both statistics and research methods, as well as substantive courses covering lifespan development, aging, and developmental psychopathology.


I received my doctoral training in Arizona State University’s Clinical Psychology program, with additional training emphases in adolescent-to-young-adult development and quantitative methodology. I then received three years of postdoctoral training here at Mizzou, including two years in an NIH-funded Alcohol Research Training program and one year in the University’s Preparing Future Faculty program. I was then granted an NIH-funded K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, and I am currently carrying out the initial two-year training (K99) phase of this award here at Mizzou.

Selected Publications: 

Lee, M. R., Yeung, E. W., Chassin, L., & Sher, K. J. (2017, June). A Lifespan-Developmental Investigation of Marriage and Problem-Drinking Desistance: Evidence for Young-Adult Specificity of the Marriage Effect and its Mediators. Presented at the 13th Annual Satellite Session for Research on Mechanisms of Behavior Change, 40th Annual Scientific Meeting for the Research Society on Alcoholism, Denver, CO. (Presentation Slides)

Lee, M. R. & Sher, K. J. (in press). “Maturing out” of binge and problem drinking. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews. (PDF)

Lee, M. R., Boness, C. L., McDowell, Y. E., Vergés, A., Steinley, D. L., & Sher, K. J. (in press). Desistance and Severity of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Lifespan-Developmental Investigation. Clinical Psychological Science. (abstract)

Lee, M. R., Ellingson, J. M., & Sher, K. J. (2015). Integrating Social-Contextual and Intrapersonal Mechanisms of “Maturing Out”: Joint Influences of Familial Role Transitions and Personality Maturation on Problem Drinking Reductions. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 39(9), 1775-1787. (PMCID: 4558380; PDF)

Lee, M. R., Chassin, L., & MacKinnon, D. (2015). Role Transitions and Young Adult Maturing Out of Heavy Drinking: Evidence for Larger Effects of Marriage among More Severe Pre-Marriage Problem Drinkers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 39(6), 1064-1074. (PMCID: 4452406; PDF)

Lee, M. R., Bartholow, B. D., McCarthy, D. M., Pedersen, S. L., & Sher, K. J. (2014). Two Alternative Approaches to Conventional Person-Mean Imputation Scoring of the Self-Rating of the Effects of Alcohol Scale (SRE). Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 29(1), 231-236. (PMCID: 4333111; PDF)

Lee, M. R., Chassin, L., & Villalta, I. K. (2013). Maturing out of alcohol involvement: Transitions in latent drinking statuses from late adolescence to adulthood. Development and psychopathology, 25(4), 1137-1153. (PMCID: 3831177; PDF)

Lee, M. R., Chassin, L., & MacKinnon, D. (2010). The effect of marriage on young adult heavy drinking and its mediators: Results from two methods of adjusting for selection into marriage. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24(4), 712-718. (PMCID: 3058715; PDF)