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John D. Clapp

Lenore Stein-Wood and William S. Wood Professor of School Behavioral Health

Internationally recognized researcher and expert on alcohol problem prevention.

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John Clapp
Rank:  Tenure Track Faculty
Department:  Social Change and Innovation

John D. Clapp

Lenore Stein-Wood and William S. Wood Professor of School Behavioral Health

Internationally recognized researcher and expert on alcohol problem prevention.

Media Contact


JOHN D. CLAPP is a professor at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California. Clapp is known internationally for his research and translational work in the field of alcohol problem prevention. A fellow in the American Academy of Health Behavior, Clapp is currently studying the system dynamics of drinking events with a team of engineers and computer scientists with the goal of developing “smart” real-time prevention applications. He has published more than 100 journal articles, with his work appearing in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Addiction, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, among numerous other top research journals. Clapp has been awarded more than $32 million in grants and contracts (NIAAA, NIDA, U.S. Department of Education, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation) and has been principal investigator on over 20 funded projects. Clapp was the founding co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research. As a leader in the prevention of alcohol-related problems experienced by college students, he served six years as the director of the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery. He also served on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention National Advisory Council. Clapp’s work and expertise has been featured in numerous international media outlets, with coverage in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Telegraph, ABC National News, among numerous others. To reference the work of John Clapp online, we ask that you directly quote their work where possible and attribute it to "John Clapp, a faculty at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work” (LINK:


The Ohio State University

PhD 1995

San Diego State University

MSW 1991

San Diego State University

BA 1987

Area of Expertise

  • Alcohol Addiction
  • Social Science Methodology
  • Public Health
  • Social Work
  • Substance Abuse
  • Research Management
  • Alcohol and Drug Epidemiology and Prevention
  • Systems Science

Industry Experience

  • Mental Health Care
  • Education/Learning
  • Research
  • Health and Wellness

Research Interest

  • Substance Abuse


  • The American Academy of Health Behavior: Fellow and former Board Member
  • The U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention: Advisor, 2013 - 2015
  • Fellow, American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare


American Academy of Health Behavior’s 2018 Research Laureate
Dr. Clapp was recognized as a 2018 Research Laureate at the 18th Annual AAHB Scientific Meeting, "An Equity Approach to Health Behavior Innovations."

Articles & Publications

Factors Associated with Self-Estimated Breath Alcohol Concentration Among Bar Patrons | Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research

Matthew E. Rossheim, Adam E. Barry, Dennis L. Thombs, Robert M. Weiler, Jenna R. Krall, Caroline J. Stephenson, Scott T. Walters, Mark B. Reed, John D. Clapp, Sumihiro Suzuki, Tracey E. Barnett, M. Brad Cannell
2017 Few studies have examined the context in which drinkers underestimate their breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) in natural drinking environments. This study examined factors associated with bar patrons’ self-estimated BrAC in high-risk college town settings.


Modeling and Analysis of Group Dynamics in Alcohol-Consumption Environments | IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics

Luis Felipe Giraldo, Kevin M. Passino, John D. Clapp
2017 High-risk drinking is considered a major concern in public health, being the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Several studies have been conducted to understand the etiology of high-risk drinking and to design prevention strategies to reduce unhealthy alcohol-consumption and related problems, but there are still major gaps in identifying and investigating the key components that affect the consumption patterns during the drinking event.


Comparison of Clinical Outcomes Following Head and Neck Surgery Among Patients Who Contract to Abstain From Alcohol vs Patients Who Abuse Alcohol | JAMA Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery

Azeem S. Kaka, MD; Songzhu Zhao, MS; Enver Ozer, MD; Amit Agrawal, MD; Stephen Kang, MD; James Rocco, MD, PhD; Ricardo Carrau, MD; Theodoros Teknos, MD; John D. Clapp, PhD; Harrison Weed, MD; Matthew O. Old, MD
2017 In this case-control study, a clinical protocol was developed in which misusers of alcohol were asked to sign a contract to be abstinent of alcohol prior to surgery. This protocol was associated with a reduction in hospital stay, fewer wound complications, decreased withdrawal, and reduced time lapse to adjuvant radiation therapy.


Comparison of heavy episodic drinking patterns between Korean and Chinese immigrants | The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research

Danielle E. Ruderman, John D. Clapp, C. Richard Hofstetter, Veronica Irvin, Sunny Kang, Melbourne F. Hovell
2016 Drinking-related problems are increasing among Asian immigrants despite the popular perceptions of a “model minority.” Sociocultural factors may relate to differing drinking patterns among subsets of Asian American populations. This study explores the relationship between nationality and alcohol consumption among Chinese and Korean Americans, specifically in regards to acculturation and social networks.


Reducing and preventing alcohol misuse and its consequences: A Grand Challenge for social work | The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research

Audrey L. Begun, John D. Clapp, The Alcohol Misuse Grand Challenge Collective
2016 The scientific discovery, development, and implementation of evidence-informed solutions for alleviating alcohol-related problems are inherently multisectoral, as they affect individuals, families, communities, and larger social systems. The advent of new technologies, research approaches, and intervention strategies has dramatically accelerated positive results in addressing such problems over the past 40 years. Still, alcohol misuse remains a significant global problem, and reducing and preventing its consequences is a Grand Challenge for Social Work.



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist