Sara Becker, PhD

Sara Becker, PhD

Staff Psychologist, Rhode Island Hospital

Sara Becker, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and substance use problems. She has been an assistant professor (research) at The Warren Alpert Medical School, a staff psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital, and the Co-Director of the Adolescent Mood and Stress Clinic since 2011.

Becker is a graduate of Dartmouth College. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Duke University and completed her residency at Harvard Medical School’s McLean Hospital. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Alcohol and Addictions Studies at Brown University.

Becker’s research focuses on the evaluation and dissemination of effective treatment for adolescents with substance use and co-occurring mental health problems. With funding from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), Becker is currently evaluating new ways to market adolescent substance abuse therapy to families. Becker has also served as a Co-Investigator on several studies focused on improving the delivery of treatment to adolescents with mood disorders.



Becker, S. J., & Curry, J. F. (2007). Interactive effect of substance abuse and depression on adolescent social competence. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36, 469-475.

Becker, S. J., & Curry, J. F. (2008). Outpatient interventions for adolescent substance abuse: A quality of evidence review. [Featured article] Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 531-544.

Becker, S. J., Curry, J. F., Yang, C. (2009). Longitudinal association between frequency of use and quality of life among adolescent substance abusers. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 23, 482-490.

Becker, S. J., Curry, J. F., & Yang, C. (2011). Factors that influence trajectories of change in frequency of use and quality of life among adolescents receiving a brief intervention. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 41, 294 – 304.

Becker, S. J., Stein, G. L., Curry, J. F., & Hersh, J. (2012). Ethnic differences among substance abusing adolescents in a treatment dissemination project. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 42, 328 – 336.

Becker, S. J., Nargiso, J., Wolff, J., Uhl, K, Simon, V., Spirito, A., & Prinstein, M. (2012). Temporal relationship between substance use and delinquent behavior among psychiatrically hospitalized early adolescents. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 43, 251 – 259.

Becker, S. J., Hernandez, L, Smith, C., & Spirito, A. (2012). Adolescent substance use trajectories following a brief motivational intervention in an emergency department. Drug Abuse and Dependence, 125, 103 – 109.