Dr. Nena Messina

ISAP Researchers' Profiles

Nena P. Messina, Ph.D.

Nena P. Messina, Ph.D., is a Criminologist at UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs and has been involved in substance abuse research for over 14 years. Dr. Messina’s areas of expertise include the specialized treatment needs of drug-dependent women offenders and the association between crime, mental health, and substance abuse.  Dr. Messina was appointed as a Special Consultant to act as a Governor’s Rehabilitation Strike Team Member to create a strategic plan to reform the California prison system in response to Legislative bill AB 900 - The Public Safety & Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007. Dr. Messina has also focused her efforts toward identifying the long-term outcomes of drug-exposed children and children with incarcerated parents.  Dr. Messina has a successful history as the Principal Investigator of several NIDA-funded grants and California state contracts assessing the effectiveness of gender-responsive treatment for women offenders (on parole, in prison, or under community supervision such as re-entry programs, drug court and Prop 36). Dr. Messina has collaborated on numerous publications on the psychosocial correlates of substance abuse treatment outcomes and has contributed a great deal to the understanding of co-occurring disorders, trauma and abuse, and treatment responsivity for women offenders.

Education and Training

  • California State University, Northridge, CA, B.A., Psychology, 1993
  • University of Maryland, College Park, MD, M.A., Criminology, 1996
  • University of Maryland, College Park, MD, Ph.D., Criminology, 2000

Specialties

  • Drug-dependent women offenders
  • Trauma and Abuse
  • Drug Endangered Children
  • Comorbidity (Antisocial Personality Disorder)

Contact Info

UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs
11075 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90025
nmessina@ucla.edu

Selected Publications

  1. Messina, N., Farabee, D., & Rawson, R.  (2003). Treatment responsivity of cocaine-dependent patients with antisocial personality disorder to cognitive behavioral and contingency management interventions.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71(2), 320-329. (PMID: 12699026)
  2. Messina, N., Burdon, W., Hagopian, G., & Prendergast, M. (2004). One year return to custody rates among co-disordered offenders.  Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 22, 503-518. (PMID: 15282837)
  3. Burdon, W., Messina, N., & Prendergast, M.  (2004). The California treatment expansion initiative: Participant characteristics, aftercare participation, recidivism, and predictors of outcome.  The Prison Journal, 84(1), 61-80.
  4. Messina, N., Burdon, W., & Prendergast, M. (2006). Prison-based treatment for drug-dependent women offenders: treatment versus no treatment. The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 3, 333-343. (PMID: 17357525)
  5. Messina, N., & Grella, C. (2006). Childhood trauma and women’s health: A California prison population. American Journal of Public Health, 96(10), 1842-1848. (PMID: 17008581) (PMCID: PMC1586137)
  6. Messina, N., Burdon, W., Hagopian, G., & Prendergast, M. (2006).  Predictors of prison TC treatment outcomes: A comparison of men and women participants. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 32(1), 7-28. (PMID: 16450640)
  7. Messina, N., Grella, C., Burdon, W., & Prendergast, M. (2007). Childhood adverse events and current traumatic distress: A comparison of men and women prisoners. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 34(11), 1385-1401.
  8. Messina, N., Marinelli-Casey, P., Hillhouse, M., Hunter, J., & Rawson, R. (2008). Childhood adverse events and health outcomes among methamphetamine dependent men and women. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.
  9. Messina, N., Marinelli-Casey, P., West, K., & Rawson, R. (2008). Children exposed to methamphetamine use and manufacture. International Journal on Child Abuse & Neglect. (PMID: 17383002)
  10. Messina, N., Marinelli-Casey, P., Hillhouse, M., Rawson, R., Hunter, J., & Ang, A. (2008). Childhood adverse events and onset and severity of methamphetamine dependence among men and women. The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 3, 399-409. (PMID: 19248397)
  11. Messina, N. (2009). Implications for Criminal Justice Involved Women with Co-Occurring Substance Abuse, and Mental and Physical Health Problems. White Paper prepared for the Co-Occurring Joint Action Council (COJAC), the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP), and Department of Mental Health (DMH). 
  12. Messina, N. & Chand, N. (2009). Exemplary Programs for Women Offenders with Co-Occurring Disorders: Key Recommendations for Implementation and Replication. White Paper prepared for the Co-Occurring Joint Action Council (COJAC), the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP), and Department of Mental Health (DMH).  http://www.aodpolicy.org/COD.htm
  13. Messina, N., Grella, C., Cartier, J., & Torres, S. (2010). A randomized experimental study of gender responsive substance abuse treatment for women in prison. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 38(2), 97-107. (PMCID 200115605)
  14. Prendergast, M., Messina, N., Hall, N., & Warda, N. (2011). The Relative Effectiveness of Women-Only vs. Mixed-Gender Substance Abuse Treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 40(4), 336-348. NIHMS 264149
  15. Messina, N. & Jeter, K. Parental methamphetamine use and manufacture: Child and familial outcomes (2012). Journal of Public Child Welfare, 6(3).

Last updated - 03/12/2013

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