Robyn Horwitz

Postgraduate Research

Research Area: Viral Hepatitis, Injecting Drug Use & Harm Reduction

Research Topic: Using implicit associations to assess drug use trajectories of young people
Supervisor: Dr Loren Brener

Research Summary

The aim of this research is to understand the different drug use pathways for young people who use illicit substances, and to investigate the role of implicit self-representation as a determinant of more frequent drug use, and ultimately transitions to injecting among people considered “at risk” of injecting. Using an Implicit Association Test, this longitudinal research tracks participants at two time points. The sample includes 100 participants who are considered to be “at risk” of injecting and a comparison group that consists of 100 people who currently inject drugs. This study proposes to assess whether those individuals who show strong associations between drugs and their implicit self-identity may be more likely to develop dependency than those who do not have strong implicit identification with drug use. In such a manner this study will assess whether implicit associations might prove to be a useful indicator of risk of drug dependency.

Robyn's non-UNSW supervisors are Dr Courtney von Hippel and Professor Bill von Hippel from the University of Queensland.


Publications

Journal articles

Brener, L., Horwitz, R., von Hippel, C., Bryant, J., & Treloar, C. 2014. 'Discrimination by health care workers versus discrimination by others: Countervailing forces on HCV treatment intentions', Psychology, Health and Medicine, pp. 1-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2014.923103

Brener, L., von Hippel, C., Horwitz, R., & Hamwood, J. 2013. 'The impact of pluralistic ignorance on the provision of health care for people who inject drugs', Journal of Health Psychology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1359105313510336

Horwitz, R., Brener, L., & Treloar, C. 2012. 'Evaluation of an integrated care service facility for people living with hepatitis C in New Zealand', International Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 12, pp. 1-9. http://www.ijic.org/index.php/ijic/article/view/819/1924

Horwitz, R., Brener, L., Treloar, C., Sabri, W., Moreton, R., & Sedrak, A. 2010. 'Australian Egyptian community’s understanding of hepatitis C, their knowledge of virus transmission and treatment and attitudes towards people with hepatitis C', Contemporary Drug Problems, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 659 - 683.

Conference papers and presentations

Horwitz, R., Brener, L., von Hippel, C., & von Hippel, B. 2014. Using implicit association to assess drug use trajectories of young adults. Paper presented at The 13th Social Research Conference on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Related Diseases, Sydney, New South wales, 20-21 February 2014.

Horwitz, R. Sydney Egyptian community’s understanding of HCV, their knowledge of virus transmission, attitudes towards HCV and treatment. Paper presented at 7th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference, Melbourne, September 2010.

Horwitz, R. Australian Egyptian community’s understanding of HCV, their knowledge of virus transmission, attitudes towards HCV and treatment. Paper presented at 11th Social Research Conference on HIV, Hepatitis C and Related Diseases, Sydney, March 2010.