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Victoria Osborne, Ph.D., MSW

Victoria Osborne, Ph.D., MSW

Clinical Assistant Professor, Online Education Coordinator


Dr. Osborne’s individualized approach to motivate change is seen in her career as a social worker and as a professor. Her recent work focuses on substance use disorders, particularly on how clinicians can screen for and briefly intervene with clients who use drugs and alcohol. She has seen first-hand how providing out-of-the box solutions that meet the current needs of patients opens the doors for treatment and recovery.

Her dedication to reaching people on an individual level continues with students. As Dr. Osborne’s dealt with learning challenges of her own, she utilizes a variety of methods to assess how well her students are able to consume and apply the knowledge presented, rather than just memorize and reiterate it. She has over eight years of experience teaching in academic settings, and has been engaged in research for over fifteen years in a variety of academic and corporate settings.

Degrees & Certifications

  • Ph.D. in Social Work; 2008; Washington University in St. Louis
  • MSW; 1998, Washington University in St. Louis
  • BA in Psychology; 1994; Washington University in St. Louis

I did screening, brief intervention and referral-to-treatment for substance misuse. This intervention is based off of motivational interviewing, and “meeting the person where they are with regard to change.” One particular time, I met with a patient in the emergency department about getting some sort of specialized treatment for his hazardous drinking and drug use. His face softened and he was in near-tears, realizing that I wasn’t there to judge him. He was incredibly grateful and said, “It really means a lot to know that you don’t think I’m a horrible person and a failure. You’re the first person to tell me about other sorts of treatment and help I can get without having to go to one of those detox places. Thank you so much.”

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
  • Research Methods
  • Program Evaluation
  • Substance Abuse and Addictive Behaviors

Research Interest & Grants

  • Substance Misuse
  • Substance Misuse Among Women; screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment for substance misuse.
  • Behavioral Health Integration Into Primary Healthcare
  • Health Promotion

Honors, Awards & Fellowships

  • 2010-2015: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Loan Repayment Grant and Renewals
  • 2013: Grant Generating Project (GGP) Fellowship, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine
  • 2012: Career Development Award, Health Outcomes Research, SLUCOR (St. Louis University Center for Outcomes Research)
  • 2011: Research Poster Award, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri. Title: Disordered eating patterns and alcohol misuse in college students: evidence for “drunkorexia”?
  • 2010: Service Award for Outstanding Faculty Advisor, Office of Greek Life. University of Missouri
  • 2007-2008—National Institute on Drug Abuse Comorbidity and Biostatistics Pre-doctoral Fellowship, Washington University School of Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group. Grant director: Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D.
  • 2003-2007--National Institute on Drug Abuse Social Work in Addictions Training (STAR) Pre-doctoral Fellowship, George Warren Brown School of Social Work. Grant directors: Arlene R. Stiffman, Ph.D., and David E. Pollio, Ph.D

Publications & Presentations

  • Osborne, V.A., Benner, K., Sprague, D.J., and Cleveland, I. (2016). Simulating real life: enhancing alcohol screening and brief intervention education for social work students. Journal of Social Work Education, 52(3).
  • Isenberg, K.E., Dinwiddie, S., Heath, A.C, Osborne, V., Tepper, M., Jarvis, M., Spitznagel, E.L., Zorumski, C.F., North, C.S. (2016). Effect of electrical parameters on ECT convulsive threshold and duration. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 28(2), 105-16.
  • Osborne, V.A., Benner, K. (2012). Utilizing Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment in Social Work Education: Teaching Prospective Social Work Practitioners to Assess Substance Use. American Journal of Public Health, 102(7), e37-e38.
  • Pollio, D.E., North, C.S., Hudson, A.M., Hong, B., Osborne, V.A., McClendon, J.B. (2012) Psychoeducation responsive to families: two decades of development and translation of a multifamily group model. Psychiatric Annals, 42(6), 228-35.
  • Osborne, V.A., Gage, LA., and Rolbiecki, A. (2012). Psychosocial Effects of Trauma on Military Women Serving in the National Guard and Reserves. Advances in Social Work, 13(1) Spring 2012.
  • Osborne, V.A., and Cottler, L.B. (2012). Subtypes of alcohol dependence and their effect on sexual behavior change among community recruited women at risk for HIV. Substance Use and Misuse, 47.
  • Sable, M., and Osborne, V.A. (2012). Basic training for building a military social work program. The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, Special Issue: Military Social Work. 14(2).
  • Bright, C.L., Osborne, V.A., Grief, G. (2011). One dozen considerations when working with women in substance abuse treatment. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 43(1): 64-68.
  • McMillen, J.C., Lenze, S.L., Hawley, K.M., Osborne, V.A. (2009). Revisiting practice-based research networks as a platform for mental health services research. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 36(5): 38-21.
  • Yu, M., North, C.S., LaVesser, P., Osborne, V.A. (2008). A Comparison Study of Psychiatric and Behavior Disorders and Cognitive Ability Among Homeless and Housed Children. Community Mental Health Journal, 44(1): 1-10.
  • Stiffman, A.R., Alexander-Eitzman, B., Silmere, H., Osborne, V.A., Brown, E. (2007). From early to late adolescence: American Indian youth's behavioral trajectories and their major influences. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 46(7): 849-858.
  • North, C.S., Munro-Kienstra, D., Osborne, V.A., Dokucu, M.E., Vassilenko, M., Hong, B. Wetzel, R.D. Spitznagel, E.L. (2006). Interrater reliability and coding guide for nonpsychotic formal thought disorder. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 103: 395-411.
  • Stiffman, AR, Freedenthal, S, Dore, P, Ostmann, E, Osborne, V, Silmere, H. (2006). The role of providers in mental health services offered to American-Indian youths. Psychiatric Services 57(8): 1185-91.
  • Pollio, D.E., North, C.S., Osborne, V.A. (2002). Family-responsive psychoeducation groups for families with an adult member with mental illness: Pilot results. Community Mental Health Journal, 8(5): 413-21.
  • Pollio, D.E., North, C.S., Osborne, V.A., Kap, N., & Foster, D.A. (2001). The impact of psychiatric diagnosis and family system relationship on problems identified by families coping with a member with mental illness. Family Process, 40(2): 200-20.

Letters & Book Reviews

  • Osborne, V.A. Conducting Substance Use Research, by Audrey L. Begun and Tom Gregoire. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2014, 186 pp., ISBN: 978-0-19-989231-0. Book review (2015), Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, in press.
  • Osborne, V.A., and Pollio, D.E. Approaches to Measuring Human Behavior in the Social Environment, edited by William R. Nugent. Binghamton, New York: Haworth, 2005, 241 pp., $49.95 (hardcover). ISBN-13: 978-0-7890-3082-5/ISBN-10: 0-7890-3082-9. Book Review (2007), Social Work with Groups, 30(2), 95-98.