Rebecca Evans-Polce, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor
Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences
Room 2247 NURS1

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: (734) 647-1595
Rebecca Evans-Polce is accepting new PhD students.


  • Substance use epidemiology
  • Etiology and consequences of substance use
  • Adolescent and young adult health
  • Health disparities and health equity

Rebecca Evans-Polce has a doctorate in public health and expertise in substance use epidemiology, disparities in substance use, and analysis of large national secondary data. She investigates the complexity and nuances of substance use etiology, trajectories, and consequences at different ages and for individuals of diverse racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identities.

Current Research Grants and Programs

  • R01 E-Cigarette Use Among US Adolescents and Young Adults: Longitudinal Associations with Tobacco Use and Health and Dimensions of Risk and Protection, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (PI: Evans-Polce), 2022-2025
  • R01 Sexual Fluidity and Longitudinal Changes in Alcohol Misuse and Associated Health Consequences (PI: Evans-Polce), 2022-2025
  • R01 Smoking and Cancer-Related Health Disparities among Sexual and Gender Minority Adults (PI: Veliz, Co-I: Evans-Polce), 2023-2028
  • R01 High-Intensity Drinking and Related Consequences: Daily Data from a National Sample Aged 19 to 22 (PI: Patrick, Co-I: Evans-Polce), 2018-2024
  • R25 Pipeline to Graduate Education and Careers in Behavioral and Social Science Research for URM Undergraduates: Addressing HIV in Sexual and Gender Minority Communities (MPI: Harper and Kirkland, Research Mentor: Evans-Polce), 2023-2026
  • R21 Tobacco Use Trajectories and Disparities among Sexual Minorities in Adolescents and Adults, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health (PI: Evans-Polce), 2020-2023

Affiliations / Service

  • Member, Society for Nicotine and Tobacco Research
  • Member, College of Problems on Drug Dependence
  • Member, Research Society on Alcohol
  • Member, Society for Prevention Research
  • Member, American Public Health Association


  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, 2012
  • BS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2006

Publication Highlights

  • Evans-Polce, R. J., Maggs, J. L., Lanza, S. T., & Patrick, M. E. (2024). Negative consequences associated with daily alcohol use as a nonlinear function of number of drinks in a daily diary study. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 256, 111089. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2024.111089.

  • Evans-Polce, R. J., Kcomt, L., Boyd, C. J., Veliz, P. T., & McCabe, S. E. (2023). Associations of sexual identity change and identity-attraction discordance with symptomatic alcohol and other drug use. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. doi: 10.1007/s00127-023-02600-2.

  • Kcomt, L., Evans-Polce, R. J., Engstrom, C. W., Takahashi, J., Matthews, A., Veliz, P. T., West, B. T., & McCabe, S. E. (2024). Social ecological influences on nicotine/tobacco use among gender-varying and gender-stable adolescents and adults in the USA. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. doi: 10.1093/abm/kaad066 PMCID: PMC10729790.

  • Gurnik, H., Engstrom, C. W., McCabe, S. E., & Evans-Polce, R. J. (2023). A Cross-sectional nationally representative study of differences in HIV testing among sexual orientation subgroups in the United States. Preventive Medicine Reports, 34, 102230. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2023.102230.

  • Evans-Polce, R. J., Kcomt, L., Veliz, P., Boyd, C. J., & McCabe, S. E. (2023). Examining sexual identity stability and change over time and associations with tobacco use in a nationally representative sample. Addictive Behaviors, 141, 107661. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2023.107661 PMCID: PMC10570932.

  • Evans-Polce, R. J., Schuler, M. S., Kcomt, L., McCabe, V. V., & McCabe, S. E. (2023). Sexual identity differences in tobacco (re)uptake: Testing mediation by internalizing and externalizing symptoms. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 64(6), 824-833. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2023.01.017.

  • Patrick, M. E., Evans-Polce, R. J., Arterberry, B., & Terry-McElrath, Y. (2023). Initiation of and escalation to high-intensity drinking among young adults. JAMA Pediatrics, 177(3):286-293. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.5642.

  • Schuler, M. S. & Evans-Polce, R. J. (2022). Perceived substance use risks among never-users: Sexual identity differences in a sample of U.S. young adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 63(6): 987-996. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2022.07.003

  • Kcomt, L., Evans-Polce, R. J., Engstrom, C. W., Boyd, C. J., Veliz, P. T., West, B. T., & McCabe, S. E. (2022). Tobacco use among gender-varying and gender-stable adolescents and adults living in the U.S. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 24(9), 1498-1503. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntac098.

  • Evans-Polce, R. J., Stevenson, B. L., & Patrick, M. E. (2022). Daily-level analysis of drinking intensity and acute physical consequences. Addictive Behaviors, 128, 107246. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2022.107246. 

  • McCabe, S. E., Schulenberg, J. E., Schepis, T., Evans-Polce, R. J., Wilens, T. E., McCabe, V. V., & Veliz, P. T. (2022). Prevalence and trajectories of prescription drug misuse among US adults from ages 18 to 50. JAMA Network Open, 5, e2141995. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.41995 PMCID: PMC8728613

  • Evans-Polce, R. J., Smith, D. M., Veliz, P. T., Boyd, C. J., & McCabe, S. E. (2021). Sexual identity differences in biomarkers of tobacco exposure among women in a national sample. Cancer Epidemiology, 74, 101980. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2021.101980. PMCID: PMC8455424.

  • Evans-Polce, R. J., Veliz, P. T., Kcomt, L., Boyd, C. J., & McCabe, S. E. (2021). Nicotine/tobacco product use and dependence symptoms among US adolescents and adults: Differences by age, sex, and sexual identity. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 23(12), 2065-2074. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntab127 PMCID: PMC8570663.

  • Bray, B. C., Berglund, P. A., Evans-Polce, R. J., & Patrick, M. E. (2021). A latent transition analysis of self-reported reasons for marijuana use during young adulthood. Special issue of Evaluation and The Health Professions, 44, 9-24. doi: 10.1177/0163278720984514 PMCID: PMC7923687.

  • Evans-Polce, R. J., Kcomt, L., Veliz, P. T., Boyd, C. J., & McCabe, S. E. (2020). Alcohol, tobacco, and comorbid psychiatric disorders and associations with sexual identity and stress-related correlates. American Journal of Psychiatry, 177, 1073-1081. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20010005. PMCID: PMC7606786

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