Jessie Breyer, Ph.D., a member of the Psychology faculty at Century College in White Bear Lake, received the 2010 Durand Jacobs Award for her paper, “Young Adult Gambling Behaviors and their Relationship with the Persistence of ADHD.” The Durand Jacobs Award, bestowed by the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviours at McGill University in Montreal, recognizes outstanding work related to the psychology of addictive behaviors, and is dedicated to Dr. Durand Jacobs’ lifelong efforts to help mentor students.

Dr. Breyer began her work in the field of addiction at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry in 2001. She worked for Ken Winters, Ph.D. and Randy Stinchfield, Ph.D. on a variety of research studies examining the impact of addictions on adolescents and adults. These studies included: investigating the influence of longitudinal ADHD on gambling and substance use in young adults; studying the effectiveness of a brief intervention for substance use in adolescents; and testing the validity of a gambling treatment outcome measure. Dr. Breyer has co-authored several articles and poster presentations in the field of addiction, and was a recipient of the NIAAA/NIDA Early Career Investigators Award in 2009.

“The field of addiction is something that’s always fascinated me,” says Dr. Breyer. “I’m interested in understanding why people continue to do things when there are so many unfavorable consequences to their behavior in the form of losing money, jobs, relationships, etc.”

Dr. Breyer’s work with Dr. Stinchfield found that individuals reporting childhood ADHD symptoms that persisted into young adulthood were more likely to become problem gamblers than study participants with no ADHD or those with non-persistent ADHD. However, those with persistent ADHD were no more likely than other groups to engage in gambling.

In addition to sharing her passion for psychology as a teacher, Dr. Breyer also aspires to do clinical work. She particularly enjoys working with children, adolescents and young adults.