Silvia Martins

Silvia Martins

Silvia Martins

Associate Professor


Dr. Silvia S. Martins is a faculty member of the Psych-Neuro cluster of the Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is also currently the academic coordinator/ombudsman of the NIDA T32 Substance Use Disorders Training Program in the department and the Course Director of Principles of Epidemiology (P6400). Her current research focuses on environmental and individual factors associated with substance use and substance use disorders, psychiatric disorders in the U.S. general population and gambling/problem gambling in Puerto Rican Youth. She has led 5 federally funded (2 of which are active- 1R01 HD060072 and 1R01 DA037866) and 3 privately funded research studies over the past-decade. Her research portfolio has included NIDA-NIH funded studies to investigate trends in nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorder in the U.S. populations and a recently-funded study to investigate the effects of state-level marijuana laws on the prevalence of marijuana use among adolescents and adults as well as other consequences potentially related to the implementation of these laws. She is also the principal investigator of a project to examine the effects of urban violence in the development of psychopathology among youth in Brazil and Chile. Dr. Martins currently collaborates with researchers in other U.S. institutions, Canada, Brazil, Lebanon, Chile, and France.



PhD, 2003, University of Sao Paulo-USP-Brazil
MD, 1998, UFPR- Brazil


Global Health Initiative

Editorial Boards

Psychology of Addictive Behaviors

Columbia Affiliations

Academic Appointments

Additional Affiliations

Member- American Psychopathological Association
Member-National Hispanic Science Network
Member-World Psychiatric Association Epidemiology and Public Health Section
Scientific Advisory Board, Responsible Gaming Accreditation Board

Honors & Awards

American Psychiatric Association Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators Award, 2004 & 2006
NIDA Women and Gender Junior Investigator Travel Award, 2007
Joseph Ciarrocchi Recognition Award from the Maryland Council on Problem Gambling for pioneering efforts in research on youth problem gambling, 2011
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Travel Awardee, 2011
Columbia President's Global Innovation Fund, 2013

Areas of Expertise

Adolescent Health, Social / Cultural Issues, Social Epidemiology, Underserved Populations, Mental Health, Addiction/Drug Abuse, Urban Health

Select Urban Health Activities

Predictors of Impulsive Behaviors among Puerto-Rican Youth: This study integrates a developmental model of PG, Blaszczynski and Nower's Pathways model (so far only examined cross-sectionally) with a context -and intervention-informed developmental model of other risk behaviors (Ecodevelopmental theory). We will collect new information about gambling behaviors and PG on a high-risk population of 1,100 youth/young adults from two population-based samples of Puerto Rican (ages 15-26) from two sites: the South Bronx (SBx), NYC and San Juan, Puerto Rico (PR) by taking advantage of an ongoing study, the Boricua Youth Study (BYS-R01DA033172, PI: Duarte and R01MH09837, PIs: Alegria, Canino & Duarte), which has been following Puerto Rican individuals prospectively since 2001. This project is funded by the National Institutes of Health, National institute of Child and Human Development-1R01 HD060072.

Select Global Activities

URBANICITY, CHILDHOOD TRAUMA AND ADOLESCENT COMORBID PSYCHOPATHOLOGY IN BRAZIL AND CHILE, Brazil, Chile: This project aims to build capacity among Brazilian and Chilean epidemiology and child psychiatry researchers to conduct epidemiological longitudinal studies to identify potentially modifiable risk factors for the development of psychiatric co-morbidity (including substance use) from childhood to adolescence, focusing on the central role of traumatic events experienced in childhood among an urban population.
CITIES AND MENTAL HEALTH: EXAMINING SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF MENTAL DISORDERS IN LARGE URBAN AREAS IN A MULTICENTRIC ANALYSIS OF THE WORLD MENTAL HEALTH SURVEY INITIATIVE, Brazil: This project aims to identify and analyze the social determinants of mental disorders in the ten megacities (cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) of the World Mental Health Survey Initiative (WMHSI): New York City, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Lagos, Mexico City, Paris, Buenos Aires and São Paulo, totaling around 20,000 individuals (an average of 2,000 per megacity), representing a reasonably well-distributed sample from low (Nigeria and China), medium (Brazil, Argentina and Mexico) and high (United States and France) income countries.
PATTERNS OF ALCOHOL AND DRUG CONSUMPTION IN NIGHTCLUBS: EPIDEMIOLOGY, ETHNOGRAPHY AND INTERVENTION , Brazil: This study aims to first investigate the patterns of alcohol and drug use among youth who go regularly to nightclubs in S?o Paulo city and then develop a web-based intervention to reduce binge drinking and drug us among these youth.

Select Publications

Martins SS, Sampson LA, Cerde¡ M, Galea S. Global prevalence and trends in unintentional drug overdose: A systematic review of the literature. American Journal of Public Health, in press.
Martins SS, Santaella J, Marshall BDL, Maldonado A, MC. Racial/ethnic differences in trends in heroin use and heroin risk behaviors among nonmedical prescription opioid users. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, in press.
Pacek LR, Mauro PM, Martins SS. Perceived risk of regular cannabis use in the United States from 2002 to 2012: differences by sex, age, and race/ethnicity. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2015,149:232-44. [Epub 2015 Feb 17].
Bray BC, Lee GP, Liu W, Storr CL, Ialongo NS, Martins SS. Transitions in Gambling Participation During Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood. Journal of Adolescent Health, 2014 Aug;55(2):188-94.
Castaldelli-Maia JM*, Silveira CM, Milhorana IA, Pang WY, Siu ER, Alexandrino-Silva C, Borges G, Viana MC, Andrade AG, Schukitt M, Andrade LH, Martins SS. Subtypes of alcohol users in a population-based sample: results from the Sao Paulo Megacity Mental Health Survey, Brazil. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014 Mar 1;136:92-9.
Eaton WW, Martins SS, Nestadt G, Bienvenu OJ, Clarke D, Alexandre PK. The Burden of Mental Disorders. Epidemiologic Reviews, 2008, 30:1-14.
Martins SS, Fenton MC, Keyes KM, Blanco C, Zhu H, Storr CL. Mood/Anxiety disorders and their association with non-medical prescription opioid use and prescription opioid use disorder: longitudinal evidence from the National Epidemiologic Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Psychological Medicine, 2012; 42(6):1261-72.
Martins SS, Ko JY, Kuwabara S, Mendelson T Clarke D, Zandi P, Alexandre PK, Mortensen P, Eaton WW. THE RELATIONSHIP OF ADULT MENTAL DISORDERS TO RACE, SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, MARITAL STATUS, AND URBANICITY OF RESIDENCE. In: Eaton WW, Public Mental Health. Oxford University Press. 2012, pp.151-200.
Liu W, Lee GP, Goldweber A, Petras H, Storr CL, Ialongo NS, Martins SS. Impulsivity Trajectories and Gambling in Adolescence among Urban Male Youth. Addiction, 2013; 108(4):780-8.
75. Lee GP, Stuart EA, Ialongo NS, Martins SS. Parental monitoring trajectories and gambling among a longitudinal cohort of urban youth. Addiction, Nov 6. doi: 10.1111/add.12399. [Epub ahead of print].

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