Steven Y. Sussman



Preventive Medicine (Division of Health Behavior Research) / Psychology
Keck School of Medicine

Research Topics

  • Cancer Prevention/Epidemiology

Research Overview

Dr. Steve Sussman is a professor of preventive medicine and psychology at the University of Southern California. Dr. Sussman is interested in the topic of addictions broadly defined and translation of prevention and cessation programming. For example, recently he has conducted research considering prevalence and co-occurrence on multiple substance and behavioral addictions. He primarily conducts research in the prediction, prevention, and cessation of tobacco and other drug abuse, and he has a strong interest in global health. His most recent book is entitled Drug Abuse: Concepts, Prevention, and Cessation with Susan L. Ames (2008) for Cambridge University Press. He was the principal investigator of Project Towards No Tobacco Use (Project TNT). Project TNT is a tobacco use prevention and cessation project among young teens, which was endorsed nationally by the Centers for Disease Control as a Program That Works (1997-2002). Project TNT also has been considered a model program by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Centers for Substance Abuse Prevention (SAMHSA/CSAP), National Cancer Institute, and National Institute on Drug Abuse, and is recognized as one of 8 exemplary programs by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). His other projects include Project EX, a successful adolescent tobacco-use cessation program which was tested through use of large, true field experimental designs, has been replicated five times in controlled trials, and has been considered an SAMHSA/CSAP evidence-based program, an NCI evidence-based program, and an EBP at several state DOE, and is being used as a means of international translation research (Austria, China, India, Israel and partners, Russia, Spain, and Thailand); and Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND), which is a drug abuse prevention project for older teens, particularly for those at risk for drug abuse. Project TND has been considered a model program by SAMHSA/CSAP, Health Canada, the USDOE, Colorado Blueprints for Violence Prevention, OJJDP/DSG, Maryland Blueprints, U.S. Department of Defense, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Project TND has been replicated in seven clustered-randomized controlled trials.
He has published over 430 articles, chapters, abstracts, or books in the arena of the addictions and elsewhere. Dr. Sussman is Editor of Evaluation & the Health Professions (, since 2010, and is an Associate Editor or on the Editorial Board of five other journals (e.g., Senior Associate Editor, American Journal of Health Behavior). He was selected as the Research Laureate of the American Academy of Health Behavior for 2005, and he is a Past-President there. In addition, he was elected as a Fellow of Division 50 (Addictions) of the American Psychological Association in 2007. Most recently, he was one of six contributing editors to the 2012 Surgeon General Report on Preventing Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults. Dr. Sussman received his B.S. in psychology from theUniversity of Illinois at Champaign in 1976 and his M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical-social psychology from the University Of Illinois at Chicago, in 1981 and 1984. He served on a clinical psychology residency at the University of Mississippi VA and Medical Centers Consortium from 1983-1984.

For more on Dr. Sussman's work, see: