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Molly Magill

Assistant Professor of Behavioral & Social Sciences (Research):
Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Phone: +1 401 863 6557

Dr. Molly Magill's broad area of study is mechanisms of behavior change in psychosocial treatment for addictive disorders. Her research focus is the use of observational coding methods to study interactions within therapy sessions, and to link these data with analyses of client behavior outside of therapy sessions. She examines both proximal (in route) and distal (main outcome) behavior change.


Dr. Molly Magill is currently an Assistant Professor (Research) and Assistant Director of Biostatistics at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Social Work Research from Boston College. Dr. Magill's broad area of study is mechanisms of behavior change in psychosocial treatment for addictive disorders. She has a particular interest in examining evidence-based treatments, and distinguishing model-specific from common factors of behavior change in motivational, cognitive-behavioral and 12-step oriented approaches. Dr. Magill entered the Brown University Postdoctoral Training Program in Alcohol and Addiction Studies in 2007 and in 2010, she was awarded an NIAAA K23 Career Development Award to study common factor processes in behavioral interventions with alcohol use disorders.


Dr. Magill is a clinical social worker who has focused her career on substance use treatment at the level of science and practice. These experiences to date have led to a belief that research on change mechanisms can enhance knowledge gained from clinical trials research, and in the case of treatment outcome equivalence or difference. Such information can lead to greater treatment efficiency by identifying common treatment factors, treatment-specific ingredients, and thus, dissemination priorities. Dr. Magill is currently a collaborator on three ongoing projects focused on process mechanisms of Motivational Interviewing with adult and young adult alcohol use and related consequences. This work is complemented by recently completed participation on a secondary analysis project targeting mechanisms of Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as dissertation research on outcomes and moderators of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The goals of Dr. Magill's recently awarded NIAAA Career Development Award are to obtain advanced training in: (1) the development of measurement approaches for change process research and (2) the longitudinal analysis of change process mechanisms. This training occurs under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Stout, with co-mentorship provided by Dr. Richard Longabaugh and Dr. Timothy Apodaca and consultation provided by Dr. Kathleen Carroll and Dr. Carlo DiClemente.




Research Achievement Award, Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, 2007

Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health Clinical Research, 2008 – 2010

Finalist, Enoch Gordis Award, Research Society on Alcoholism, 2009

Loan Repayment Program competitive renewal, National Institutes of Health Clinical Research, 2010 – 2011

Loan Repayment Program competitive renewal, National Institutes of Health Clinical Research, 2011 – 2013


Research Society on Alcoholism, 2007 to Present
Society for Psychotherapy Research, 2008 to Present
Planning Committee, Pre-Conference Satellite on Mechanisms of Behavior Change, Research Society on Alcoholism, 2011 to Present


Substance Abuse
Research Methods
Quantitative Methods
Mechanisms of Behavior Change: Conceptual Foundations
Mechanisms of Behavior Change: Methods
Advanced Regression Analysis in the Behavioral Sciences

Funded Research

K23, AA018126-01, NIAAA (PI: Magill)
TITLE: Within and Post-Session Change Mechanisms in Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorders. Career Development Award in Patient-Oriented Research. The aim of this Career Development Award is to prepare the candidate for a scientific career in the study of mechanisms of behavior change in psychosocial treatment for alcohol use disorders.
Role: PI

R01, AA017874-01A1, NIAAA.(PI:Apodaca).
TITLE: Sequential and Component Analysis of MI Mechanisms with College Drinkers. This study is examining how within-session therapist behaviors and intervention components are related to client changes in alcohol use and related problems. ROLE: CO-I.

R01, HD065942-01A1, NIDA. (PI:Stein).
TITLE: Contraceptive Awareness and Reproductive Health. The aim of this project is to reduce unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease among young women involved in the criminal justice system. ROLE: SITE PI Biostatistical Sub-Contract.

5K2, AA015595, NIAAA (PI: Apodaca)
TITLE: Identifying Mechanisms of Motivational Interviewing. The purpose of this grant is to provide the PI with training in theory and methodology for identifying mechanisms of change in psychosocial treatments for substance use disorders. Role:(SITE PI)

T32, AA07459-22, NIAAA (PI: Spirito)
Postdoctoral Training in Alcohol Intervention Research. The aim of the Brown University CAAS training program is to facilitate the development of young investigators in alcohol and other drug research. ROLE: Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Curriculum Vitae

Download Molly Magill's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format