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Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD

Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD, has been recognized for his research, which focuses on the effects of alcohol and substance abuse on marital and family processes.

Leonard Receives National Award for Addictions Research

Published September 3, 2015

The American Psychological Association’s Society of Addiction Psychology (SoAP) has honored Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD, with a Distinguished Scientific Contributions award for his addictions research.

“Dr. Leonard’s outstanding accomplishments are matched only by his mentoring of generations of investigators and clinician-scientists in psychology and psychiatry.”
Professor and chair of psychiatry

Leonard, a professor of psychiatry, is the director of the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions.

He focuses his research on the effects of alcohol and substance abuse on marital and family processes, including intimate partner violence and interpersonal violence.

Improving Substance Abuse Knowledge Worldwide

“Not only have Dr. Leonard’s contributions to our understanding of the interaction of violence and substance use changed practice worldwide, but his research has extended to areas of knowledge ranging from treatment outcomes to diagnostic issues to metabolic changes in psychiatric illness,” says Steven L. Dubovsky, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry.

Leonard’s sustained program of research has garnered international recognition, says former SoAP president Kim Fromme, PhD, from the University of Texas at Austin, who nominated Leonard for the award.

He has “expanded our understanding of the processes through which substance abuse affects family relationships,” she says. 

Leonard has received more than $36 million for studies on alcohol and marital aggression, effects of alcohol on parenting and infant development, spouse involvement in alcohol treatment and bar violence.

He has received funding as a grant investigator and co-investigator from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Mentor Has Extensive Publishing, Editorial Experience

“Dr. Leonard’s outstanding accomplishments are matched only by his mentoring of generations of investigators and clinician-scientists in psychology and psychiatry,” notes Dubovsky.

He is “the quintessential scientist and academician,” he says.

Leonard’s research findings have appeared in Addiction, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment and Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, among numerous others.

He currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs and has previously held editorial positions for Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research as well as the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Expanding Field Through Professional Organizations

A member of the American Psychological Association (APA), Leonard is a fellow of SoAP and has served as its president.

He is also a fellow of the APA’s Division of Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse. He holds memberships in the Research Society on Alcoholism, Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors and International Society for Research on Aggression.