Debi A. LaPlante, PhD

   

Dr. Debi A. LaPlante is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Director of Academic Affairs at the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. She is involved in several emerging research projects including, but not limited to: (1) an NIAAA-funded multi-year longitudinal study, which uses the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, to examine the psychiatric comorbidity profiles of repeat driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUI) offenders, (2) state (Nevada) and federally funded (NIDA) randomized clinical trials of the Your First Step to Change guide for problem gambling, and (3) an NIMH-funded meta-analytic study to develop a strength of evidence treatment outcome matrix for behaviorally expressed addictions (e.g., problem gambling, compulsive shopping). She has also has been involved in DOA research, such as: (1) a comprehensive evaluation of the State of Iowa gambling treatment program, (2) the development of a standardized public health tool for estimating environmental exposure to behavioral health toxins, the Regional Index of Gambling Exposure, (3) the development of a theoretical model that conceptualized addiction as a syndrome, and (4) analyzing and interpreting the behavioral and substance use correlated of gambling behavior in the first ever national sample of college students.

Currently, Dr. LaPlante is senior editor of the online research review, The BASIS. The BASIS publishes weekly science reviews on the latest research studies of gambling, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Dr. LaPlante serves on the editorial board of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors and is an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other journals. Dr. LaPlante also has consulted for the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling in the development of a problem gambling self-change toolkit, Your First Step to Change, and Family Health Productions, Inc. in the development of a youth alcohol prevention video toolkit, Alcohol: True Stories. Dr. LaPlante played a lead role in the development of the EMERGE (Executive, Management and Employee Responsible Gaming Education) program.

One of Dr. LaPlante’s primary research interests is on addiction in special populations. Her work in this area has revealed the importance of considering sociodemographics in the study of addiction. For example, in published studies she and her colleagues have shown that comprehensive sociodemographic profiles explain prototypically gendered phenomena, such as the “telescoping effect” (i.e., the tendency for women to start addictive behavior later in life, but progress more rapidly to a full blown addictive disorder and treatment seeking) and gravitation towards one object of addiction versus another (e.g., the tendency for women who have problems with gambling to play slot machines versus poker) better than gender alone. Furthermore, her research has shown that women in treatment for addictive behavior (i.e., repeat DUI offenders) have more complicated and extensive psychiatric histories than men. This indicates that it might take more problems for women to reach the point of treatment and that in many cases their addictive behavior might be secondary to other psychiatric disorders.

Current Projects

Principal Investigator: An Evidence-based Approach to Understanding Fantasy Sports Activities

Principal Investigator: Assessing Responsible Gambling in Massachusetts

Principal Investigator: Updating and Refining Problem Gambling Treatment Guidelines for Treatment & Practice

Principal Investigator: Promoting Cultures of Recovery in Tribal Nations

Developing a Computerized Assessment and Referral System (CARS)

Selected Publications

In Press

Shaffer, H. J., Gray, H. M., Nelson, S. E., LaPlante, D. A. (In Press). Technology, the Internet, and gambling: How the medium can facilitate addiction, adaptation, and intervention. In D. Faust, Faust, K., & Potenza, N. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Digital Technologies and Mental Health: Second edition (Second ed., Vol. 1, pp. 135-142). Waltham, MA: Academic Press.

2015

Gray, H. M., Jonsson, G. K., LaPlante, D. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2015). Expanding the study of internet gambling behavior: trends within the Icelandic lottery and sportsbetting platform. Journal of Gambling Studies, 31(2), 483-499. doi:10.1007/s10899-013-9427-0

Gray, H. M., Tom, M. A., LaPlante, D. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2015). Using opinions and knowledge to identify natural groups of gambling employees. Journal of Gambling Studies, 31(4), 1753-1766. doi:10.1007/s10899-014-9490-1

Nelson, S. E., Belkin, K., LaPlante, D. A., Bosworth, L., & Shaffer, H. J. (2015). A prospective study of psychiatric comorbidity and recidivism among repeat DUI offenders. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 3(1), 8-17.

2014

Afifi, T. O., LaPlante, D. A., Taillieu, D. D., & Shaffer, H. J. (2014). Gambling involvement: Considering frequency of play and the moderating effects of gender and age. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 12, 238-294. doi:10.1007/s11469-013-9452-3

LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., & Gray, H. M. (2014). Breadth and depth involvement: Understanding Internet gambling involvement and its relationship to gambling problems. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28(2), 396-403. doi:10.1037/a0033810

Tom, M. A., LaPlante, D. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2014). Does Pereto rule Internet gambling? Problems among the “Vital Few” & “Trivial Many”. Journal of Gambling Business & Economics, 8(1), 73-100.

2013

Braverman, J., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., & Shaffer, H. J. (2013). Using cross-game behavioral markers for early identification of high-risk internet gamblers. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(3), 868-877. doi:10.1037/a0032818

LaPlante, D. A., Afifi, T. O., & Shaffer, H. J. (2013). Games and gambling involvement among casino patrons. Journal of Gambling Studies, 29(2), 191-203. doi:10.1007/s10899-012-9307-z

Shaffer, H. J., & LaPlante, D. A. (2013). Considering a critique of pathological gambling prevalence research. Addiction Research and Theory, 21(1), 12-14. doi:10.3109/16066359.2012.715223

2012

The APA Addiction Syndrome Handbook Vol. 1, Foundations, Influences, and Expressions of Addiction. (2012). Washington DC: American Psychological Association Press.

The APA Addiction Syndrome Handbook Vol. 2 Recovery, Prevention, and Other Issues. (2012). Washington DC: American Psychological Association Press.

Gray, H. M., LaPlante, D. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2012). Behavioral characteristics of Internet gamblers who trigger corporate responsible gambling interventions. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26(3), 527-535. doi:10.1037/a0028545

LaBrie, R. A., Peller, A. J., LaPlante, D. A., Bernhard, B., Harper, A., Schrier, T., & Shaffer, H. J. (2012). A brief self-help toolkit intervention for gambling problems: A randomized multisite trial. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82(2), 278-289. doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.2012.01157.x

LaPlante, D. A. (2012). Technology and its relationship to the addiction syndrome. In H. J. Shaffer, LaPlante, D.A., & Nelson, S.E. (Eds.), The APA Addiction Syndrome Handbook (Vol. 2, Recovery, Prevention, and Other Issues, pp. 273-296). Washington DC: American Psychological Association Press.

LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S.E., LaBrie, R.A., & Shaffer, H.J. (2012). The bwin.party Division on Addiction research collaborative: Challenges for the ‘normal science’ of Internet gambling. In R. J. Williams, Wood, R.T., & Parke, J. (Eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Internet Gambling (pp. 161-179). New York: Routledge.

LaPlante, D. A., Gray, H. M., LaBrie, R. A., Kleschinsky, J. H., & Shaffer, H. J. (2012).Gaming industry employees’ responses to responsible gambling training: A public health imperative. Journal of Gambling Studies, 28(2), 171-191. doi:10.1007/s10899-011-9255-z

2011

Gray, H. M., LaPlante, D. A., Bannon, B. L., Ambady, N., & Shaffer, H. J. (2011). Development and validation of the Alcohol Identity Implicit Associations Test (AI-IAT). Addictive Behaviors, 36(9), 919-926. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2011.05.003

LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., LaBrie, R. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2011). Disordered gambling, type of gambling and gambling involvement in the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007. European Journal of Public Health, 21(4), 532-537. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckp177

2010

LaPlante D. A., Gray, H. M., Bosworth, L., & Shaffer, H. J. (2010). Thirty years of lottery public health research: methodological strategies and trends. Journal of Gambling Studies, 26(2), 301-329. doi:10.1007/s10899-010-9185-1

Martin, R. J., Usdan, S., Nelson, S., Umstattd, M. R., LaPlante, D., Perko, M., & Shaffer, H. (2010). Using the theory of planned behavior to predict gambling behavior. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24(1), 89-97. doi:10.1037/a0018452

Shaffer, H. J., Peller, A. J., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., & LaBrie, R. A. (2010). Toward a paradigm shift in Internet gambling research: From opioid and self-report to actual behavior. Addiction Research & Theory, 18(3), 270-283.

2009

LaPlante, D. A., Kleschinkey, J. H., LaBrie, R. A., Nelson, S. E., & Shaffer, H. J. (2009). Sitting at the virtual poker table: A prospective epidemiological study of actual Internet poker gambling behavior. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(3), 711-717.

Broda, A., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., LaBrie, R. A., Bosworth, L. B., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Virtual harm reduction efforts for Internet gambling: Effects of deposit limits on actual Internet sports gambling behavior. Harm Reduction Journal, 5, 27. doi:10.1186/1477-7517-5-27 

2008

LaBrie, R. A., Kaplan, S. A., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Inside the virtual casino: A prospective longitudinal study of actual Internet casino gambling. European Journal of Public Health, 18(4), 410-416. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckn021

LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., LaBrie, R. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Stability and progression of disordered gambling: Lessons from longitudinal studies. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 53(1), 52-60.

LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., Odegaard, S. S., LaBrie, R. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Substance and psychiatric disorders among men and women repeat driving under the influence offenders who accept a treatment-sentencing option. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 69(2), 209-217.

LaPlante, D. A., Schumann, A., LaBrie, R. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Population trends in Internet sports gambling. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(5), 2399-2414.

Nelson, S. E., LaPlante, D. A., Peller, A. J., Schumann, A., LaBrie, R. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Real limits in the virtual world: Self-limiting behavior of Internet gamblers. Journal of Gambling Studies, 24(4), 463-477. doi:10.1007/s10899-008-9106-8 

Peller, A. J., LaPlante, D. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Parameters for safer gambling behavior: Examining the empirical research. Journal of Gambling Studies, 24(4), 519-534. doi:10.1007/s10899-008-9097-5

2007

LaBrie, R. A., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., Schumann, A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2007). Assessing the playing field: A prospective longitudinal study of Internet sports gambling behavior. Journal of Gambling Studies, 23(3), 347-362. doi:10.1007/s10899-007-9067-3

LaBrie, R. A., LaPlante, D. A., Peller, A. J., Christensen, D. E., Greenwood, K. L., Straus, J. H.,…Shaffer, H. J. (2007). The interdependence of behavioural and somatic health: Implications for conceptualizing health and measuring treatment outcomes. International Journal of Integrated Care, 7, e10. 

LaBrie, R. A., Nelson, S. E., LaPlante, D. A., Peller, A. J., Caro, G., & Shaffer, H. J. (2007). Missouri Casino self-excluders: Distributions across time and space. Journal of Gambling Studies, 23(2), 231-243. doi:10.1007/s10899-006-9037-1 

LaPlante, D. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2007). Understanding the influence of gambling opportunities: Expanding exposure models to include adaptation. American Journal Orthopsychiatry, 77(4), 616-623. doi:10.1037/0002-9432.77.4.616 

Nelson, T. F., LaBrie, R. A., LaPlante, D. A., Stanton, M., Shaffer, H. J., & Wechsler, H. (2007). Sports betting and other gambling in athletes, fans, and other college students. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 78(4), 271-283. doi:10.1080/02701367.2007.10599425 

Nelson, S. E., LaPlante, D. A., Peller, A. J., LaBrie, R. A., Caro, G., & Shaffer, H. J. (2007). Implementation of a computerized psychiatric assessment tool at a DUI treatment facility: A case example. Administration and Policy in Mental Health, 34(5), 489-493. doi:10.1007/s10488-007-0125-z 

Shaffer, H. J., & LaPlante, D. A. (2007). The treatment of gambling related disorders. In G. A. Marlatt, & Donovan, D. M. (Eds.), Relapse prevention (Second ed., pp. 276-332). New York: Guildord. 

Shaffer, H. J., Nelson, S. E., LaPlante, D. A., LaBrie, R. A., Albanese, M., & Caro, G. (2007). The epidemiology of psychiatric disorders among repeat DUI offenders accepting a treatment sentencing option. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75(5), 795-804. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.75.5.795 

2006

LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., LaBrie, R. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2006). Men & women playing games: Gender and the gambling preferences of Iowa gambling treatment program participants. Journal of Gambling Studies, 22(1), 65-80. doi:10.1007/s10899-005-9003-3 

Nelson, S. E., LaPlante, D. A., LaBrie, R. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2006). The proxy effect: Gender and gambling problem trajectories of Iowa gambling treatment program participants. Journal of Gambling Studies, 22(2), 221-240. doi:10.1007/s10899-006-9012-x 

2005

Shaffer, H. J., Donato, A. N., LaBrie, R. A., Kidman, R. C., & LaPlante, D. A. (2005).The epidemiology of college alcohol and gambling policies. Harm Reduction Journal, 2(1), 1. doi:10.1186/1477-7517-2-1 

Shaffer, H. J., LaBrie, R. A., LaPlante, D. A., Kidman, R. C., & Donato, A. N. (2005). The Iowa Gambling Treatment Program: Treatment outcomes for a follow-up sample. Journal of Gambling Studies, 21(1), 59-73. doi:10.1007/s10899-004-1924-8 

2004

Shaffer, H. J., LaBrie, R. A., & LaPlante, D. (2004). Laying the foundation for quantifying regional exposure to social phenomena: Considering the case of legalized gambling as a public health toxin. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 18(1), 40-48. doi:10.1037/0893-164X.18.1.40

Shaffer, H. J., LaBrie, R. A., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., & Stanton, M. V. (2004). The road less travelled: Moving from distribution to determinants in the study of gambling epidemiology. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49(8), 504-516.

Shaffer, H. J., LaPlante, D. A., LaBrie, R. A., Kidman, R. C., Donato, A. N., & Stanton, M. V. (2004). Toward a syndrome model of addiction: Multiple expressions, common etiology. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 12(6), 367-374. doi:10.1080/10673220490905705

2003

LaBrie, R. A., Shaffer, H. J., LaPlante, D. A., & Wechsler, H. (2003). Correlates of college student gambling in the United States. Journal of American College Health, 52(2), 53-62. doi:10.1080/07448480309595725

Reports

Division on Addiction. (2016). Summary analysis of the Plainridge Park Casino GameSense program activities & visitor survey: December 1, 2015 – May 31, 2016. Boston, MA: Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.

Division on Addiction. (2013). A benchmark study for monitoring exposure to new gambling opportunities: Final report. Boston, MA: Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.

LaPlante, D. A., Kleschinsky, J. H., LaBrie, R. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2009). Play Responsibly Independent Measurement & Evaluation (PRIME): Venetian & Palazzo, Las Vegas. Boston, MA: Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.

Shaffer, H. J., LaBrie, R. A., LaPlante, D. A., Kidman, R. C., & Nelson, S. E. (2004). The Iowa Department of Public Health Gambling Treatment Services: Follow-up study(Technical Report #20304-200). Boston: Harvard Medical School.

Shaffer, H. J., LaBrie, R. A., LaPlante, D. A., & Nelson, S. B. (2004). Disordered gambling in Missouri: Regional differences in the need for treatment. Phase I Report prepared for: The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation in partial fulfillment of the research grant “Evaluation Services with Regard to the Regional Impact of Compulsive Gambling” supported by the Port Authority Problem Gambling Fund.

Shaffer, H. J., LaBrie, R. A., LaPlante, D. A., & Kidman, R. C. (2002). The Iowa Department of Public Health Gambling Treatment Services: Four years of evidence (Technical Report #101102-200). Boston: Harvard Medical School.