Robert O. Pihl


Stewart Biological Sciences Bldg.
Room W8/36, 398-6096
robert.pihl at

Research Areas

Health, Clinical

Research Summary

Prof. Pihl's research coalesces around the perspective that differential susceptibility/etiology for a mental disorder is a function of variability in different motivational systems.  Work is ongoing in four areas, a developmental study of a birth cohort of twins, investigations of populations at risk for drug abuse, the assessment of drug effects, and clinical interventions with drug abusing populations.

Selected References

Pihl, R.O. The etiology of substance abuse.  In P. Blaney & T. Millan (Eds.)  Oxford Textbook of Psychopathology 2nd Ed.  Oxford Press, New York. 2009, 253-279.

Morisano, D., Hirsh, J., Peterson, J., Pihl, R., & Shore, B. (2010).  “Personal goal setting inproves academic performance in university students”.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 255-264..

Flanders, J., Simard, M., Paquette, D., Parent, S., Vitaro, F., Pihl, R., & Séguin, J.  (2010).  Rough-and-Tumble play and the development of physical aggression and emotion regulation :  A five year follow-up study.  Journal of Family Violence, 25, 357-367.

Pihl, R.O. (2010).  Mental disorders are brain disorders:  You think?  Canadian Psychologist, 51, 40-49.

Pihl, R.O., & Sutton, R. (2009).  Drugs and aggression readily mix; so what now?  Substance Use and Misuse, 44, 1188-1203.

Nantel-Vivier, A., Kokko, K., Pastorelli, C., Gerbino, M., Paciello, M., Pihl, R.O., Vitaro, F., Cote, S., Caprara, G. & Tremblay, R. (2009).  Prosocial development from childhood to adolescence:  A multi-informant perspective with Canadian and Italian longitudinal studies.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, (5)  590-598.

Mottillo, S., Filion, K., Belisle, P., Joseph, L., Gervais, A., O’Loughlin, J., Paradis, G., Pihl, R.O., Pilote, L., Rinfret, S., Tremblay, M., & Eisenberg, M.  (2009). Behavioral interventions for smoking cessation:  A metal-analysis of randomized controlled trials.  European Heart Journal, 30, 718-730.

Brunelle, C., Douglas, R., Pihl, R.O. & Stewart, S. (2009).  Personality and substance use disorders in female offenders :  A matched controlled study.  Personality and Individual Differences.  46, 472-476.

Flanders, J., Leo, V., Paquette, D., Pihl, R. & Seguin, J., 2009.  Rough-and-Tumble play and the regulation of aggression:  An observational study of father-child play dyads.  Aggressive Behavior, 35, 285-295.

Woicik, P., Conrod, P., Stewart, S., & Pihl, R.O. (2009).  The Substance Use Risk Profile Scale:  A scale measuring traits linked to reinforcement specific substance use profiles.  Addictive Behaviors, 34, 1042-1055.

Updated: September 1, 2010
Back to Graduate Program