Stella Resko

Stella Resko

Professor, Phd Director and CADUS Coordinator

Expert in substance use treatment and prevention, and interpersonal violence

5447 Woodward Avenue
Detroit MI, 48202
Office #073


Stella Resko


Stella Resko is a professor jointly appointed to the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child and Family Development. The broad goals of her research are to prevent the initiation and escalation of substance misuse and violence. Much of her current research is focused on drug overdose prevention and substance use treatment, prevention, and recovery activities. Her work has focused on families affected by substance misuse, stigma related to substance use, and issues surrounding cannabis legalization. Resko is currently the Co-Principal Investigator for the evaluation of Michigan's State Opioid Response grants. She is currently the director of Wayne State's social work doctoral program and the graduate certificate in alcohol and drug use studies. Resko is a fellow of the Society for Social Work & Research and a member of the editorial board for Youth and Society, Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, Social Work Research, and Journal of Addictive Diseases. In 2018, Dr. Resko was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan.

Resko received her Ph.D. in social work from the Ohio State University in 2007 and completed her post-doctoral training at the University of Michigan Addiction Research Center. Resko previously worked at Maryhaven, a community-based substance use treatment program that participated in the NIDA Clinical Trials Network and on interdisciplinary research teams that developed and tested the effectiveness of brief interventions.

Click here to view Curriculum Vitae

Degrees and Certifications

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Michigan Addiction Research Center
  • Ph.D., Social Work, Ohio State University
  • M.S.W., Ohio State University
  • B.S.S.W., Ohio State University

Teaching Interests

  • Social work research & statistics
  • Substance misuse

Areas of Expertise


  • Surveys and web-based data collection
  • Community-based research and evaluation
  • Advanced quantitative methods (e.g. latent variable and multilevel models)


  • Adolescents & Emerging Adults
  • Women & Families
  • Adults


  • Substance use treatment and prevention
  • Public perceptions and attitudes toward cannabis and opioids
  • Families affected by substance misuse
  • Interpersonal violence (e.g. intimate partner violence, youth violence, weapon-related violence)
  • Motivational interviewing and brief interventions

Grand Challenges Project

Protecting Youth from Substance Misuse
Resko and Associate Professor Suzanne Brown provide content expertise and consult on methods and measures for The Partnership for Sucess, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administartion grant through which high-need countries are targeted for prevention coalition development and evidence-based practices to reduce underage drinking and prescription use. Elizabeth Agius, manager of community partnerships, provides the evaluation, technical assistance and data collection assistance for the Partnership. Students assist with project management, data, and literature searches. Learn more

Helping Older Foster Youth Achieve Permanency
With funding from Southfield, Michigan-based Spaulding for Children, Resko, Associate Professor Debra Patterson and University of Washington Assistant Professor Angelique Day are collaborating on a state-of-the-art training program for these parents with ChildTrauma Academy, The Center for Adoption Support and Education, and the North American Council on Adoptable Children. Resko, Patterson and Day have been asked to identify the knowledge, skills and attitudes that resource parents need when caring for adolescents with severe behavioral health challenges. These competencies will be used to develop the curriculum for the training, the goal of which is to reduce foster parent turnover and increase the number of adoptive homes that are prepared to receive and provide permanency and stability to older foster youth. Learn more

Technology-based Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorders
Resko and Assistant Professors Suzanne Brown and Jamey Lister are part of a team studying the considerable opportunities for leveraging technology in the delivery of evidence-based intervention and prevention services to address alcohol misuse. With colleagues from Wayne State’s Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child and Family Development and the University of Michigan, they are promoting information and communication technologies that include web-based tools, interventions on mobile devices, online counseling and support groups, gaming, and text messaging support, as well as computerized feedback on alcohol use during therapist-delivered interventions. Their work was presented in a special issue of the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions focused on the alcohol misuse Grand Challenge. Learn more

Improving Help-Seeking Experiences
In 2012, Resko, Associate Professor Debra Patterson and the International Association of Forensic Nursing were awarded nearly $1.5 million by the National Institute of Justice to develop, administer and evaluate a blended online national training for sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) programs, which include specialized medical care and medical forensic exams by trained nurses and crisis intervention by skilled advocates, across the United States.

Most recently, Resko and Patterson are collaborating with the LA VIDA Partnership to evaluate the effectiveness of cultuturally-specific services to meet the acute needs of intimate partner violence and sexual assault survivors. This study will help better under help-seeking needs specific to Latinas with Southwest Detroit’s LA VIDA Partnership. For this community participatory research project, which has received $350,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women, Patterson and Resko will examine the formal and informal supports and strategies Latina survivors use to cope and evaluate how LA VIDA’s culturally specific services meet their needs. Learn more

Courses taught by Stella Resko

Winter Term 2024

Winter Term 2023

Winter Term 2022

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