Carrie Oser

  • Professor of Sociology
  • Co-Director of the Health, Society, & Population (HSP) Program
  • Health, Society and Populations
  • Sociology
1531 Patterson Office Tower
859-257-6890, 859-323-3792
Research Interests:

Ph.D., University of Georgia


Carrie Oser received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Georgia in 2004 and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology with an appointment in the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research ( and the College of Medicine’s Department of Behavioral Science at the University of Kentucky. She is serving as the Co-Director of the newly established “Health, Society, & Populations” program, which is an undergraduate major that bridges disciplines to study the global, cultural, and social distribution of disease from a liberal arts perspective ( In 2015, Dr. Oser received the American Sociological Association’s Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco section’s Senior Scholar Award and regularly serves on NIH grant review panels.  Her research interests include health services, health disparities, HIV risk behaviors/interventions, implementation science, social networks, as well as substance abuse among rural, minority, and/or criminal justice populations.


Dr. Oser is the PI on a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) K02 mid-career development award, which is examining crime, HIV, and health disparities among special populations from a social network framework.  In addition, she is a Co-PI on two other NIDA supported projects. JJ-TRIALS ( is a research collaborative in which seven research centers are developing and testing implementation strategies and associated measures to improve the continuum of substance abuse and HIV prevention and treatment services delivered to youth under juvenile justice supervision. WISH, an R01 study, is examining the effectiveness of motivational interviewing in reducing HIV risk behaviors among rural women in jail. Dr. Oser was the PI on a NIDA supported R01 project designed to understand how drug use and criminality are related to health disparities, particularly HIV, and service utilization among African American drug using and non-drug using women across criminal justice status (i.e., prison, probation, and non-offenders in the community). She has published over 85 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Crime and Delinquency, American Journal of Public Health, and AIDS Care.  

Teaching & Mentoring

Dr. Oser teaches a variety of criminology courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  She co-developed a course based on the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program pedagogy (  This course brings together 16 UK undergraduate students (i.e., “outside students) with 16 persons who are incarcerated (i.e., “inside students”) to study as peers in a college class behind prison walls. The goal of this course is to examine the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs through the lens of sociological analysis with a specific focus on policy and treatment. In addition, she has served as a mentor to numerous graduate students, post-doctoral candidates, and junior faculty members, several of which have been supported on NIH fellowships. Dr. Oser was the 2016 receipent of the Outsanding Graduate Student Mentoring Award from the College of Arts & Sciences as well as the 2015 Mentor Recognition Award from the CCTS. 

Selected Publications: 

Oser, C., Bunting, A., Pullen, E., & Stevens-Watkins, D.  (2016).  African American female offender’s use of alternative and traditional health services after re-entry: Examining the behavioral model for vulnerable populations. Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved, 27, 120-148. PMC4855295. 


Oser, C., & Harp, K.L.H.  (2015). Treatment outcomes for prescription drug misusers: The negative effect of client residence and treatment location geographic discordance. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 48(1), 1-18. PMID25200740.


Belenko, S., Dembo, R., Copenhaver, M., Hiller, M., Swan, H., Albizu-Garcia, C., O’Connell, D., Oser, C., Pearson, F., & Pankow, J. (2016).  HIV stigma in prisons and jails: Results from a staff survey. AIDS and Behavior, 20(1), 71-84.  PMID 26036464.


Luke, D., & Oser, C. (2015). Ebony and Ivory?: Interracial dating intentions and behaviors of African American women.  Social Science Research, 53, 338-350. PMC4509521.


Staton-Tindall, M., Harp, K.L.H., Minieri, A., Oser, C.B., Webster, J.M., Havens, J.R., & Leukefeld, C.G.  (2015). An exploratory study of mental health and HIV risk behavior among drug-using rural women in jail.  Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 38(1), 45-54. PMID25799305.


Pullen, E., & Oser, C. (2014).  Barriers to substance abuse treatment in rural and urban communities: A counselor perspectives. Substance Use & Misuse, 49(7), 891-901. PMC3995852.


Knudsen, H., Staton-Tindall, M., Oser, C., Havens, J., & Leukefeld, C.  (2014). Reducing risky relationships: A multi-site trial of a prison-based intervention for reducing HIV sexual risk behaviors among women with a history of drug use. AIDS Care, 26(9), 1071-1079. PMC4065193.


Pullen, E., Perry, B., & Oser, C. (2014).  African American women's preventative care usage: The role of social support and racial experiences and attitudes.  Sociology of Health and Illness, 36(7), 1037-1053.  PMC4146693.


Oser, C., Pullen, E., Biebel, E., & Harp, K.  (2013).  Causes, consequences, and prevention of burnout among substance abuse treatment counselors: A rural versus urban comparison. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 45(1), 17-27. PMC3652635.


Havens, J., Lofwall, M., Frost, S., Oser, C., Crosby, R., & Leukefeld, C.  (2013).  Factors associated with prevalent Hepatitis C infection among rural Appalachian injection drug users.  American Journal of Public Health, 103(1), 44-52. PMC3518360.


Jonas, A., Young, A., Oser, C., Leukefeld, C., & Havens, J (2012).  OxyContin® as currency: OxyContin® use and increased social capital among rural Appalachian drug users.  Social Science & Medicine, 74(10), 1602-1609.  PMC3331592.


Stevens-Watkins, D., Perry, B., Harp, K., & Oser, C.  (2012). Racism and illicit drug use among African American women: The protective effects of ethnic identity, affirmation, and behavior.  Journal of Black Psychology, 38(4), 471-496. PMC3904443.


Oser, C., Harp, K., O’Connell, D., Martin, S., & Leukefeld, C.  (2012).  Correlates of participation in self-help groups as well as voluntary and mandated substance abuse treatment among rural and urban probationers.  Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 42(1), 95-101. PMC3218255.


Havens, J., Oser, C., Knudsen, H., Lofwall, M., Stoops, W., Walsh, S., Leukefeld, C., & Kral, A. (2011).  Individual and network factors associated with non-fatal overdose among rural Appalachian drug users.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 115(1-2), 107-112. PMC3056907.


Oser, C., Leukefeld, C., Staton-Tindall, M., *Duvall, J., Garrity, T., Stoops, W., Falck, R., Wang, J., Carlson, R., Sexton, R., Wright, P., & Booth, B.  (2011).  Criminality among rural stimulant users in the United States.  Crime and Delinquency, 57(4), 600-621. PMC3115620. 


PubMed Publications*: 
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