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TARC Core Faculty

Sarah Tragesser

Department of Psychology (Tri-Cities) – Departmental Page
Tragesser, Sarah

Alcohol Addiction
Chronic Pain/Opiates/Cannabinoids
Co-occurring Disorders/Affective Neuroscience/Addiction

Dr. Sarah Tragesser is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at WSU. Her research centers around the personality features associated with substance abuse. In particular, she focuses on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) features of affective instability/negative affectivity and impulsivity and how these relate to alcohol and prescription opioid use. One way she examines these features is through understanding motives for using substances, and the role of physical pain in substance use and dependence. This includes examining the association between pain and personality features, and how motives mediate the association between BPD features and substance use and consequences. Dr. Tragesser’s research spans both non-clinical and clinical populations, including research among college students, individuals in treatment for substance use disorders, and individuals in treatment for chronic pain. Dr. Tragesser’s most recent research is focused on understanding how chronic pain conditions and their interaction with personality features contribute to both negative emotionality and to the development of opioid dependence and dependence on other substances.