Janine Olthuis

Associate Professor



Keirstead Hall 115


1 506 447 3006

Other titles

Director, Clinical Program

My research interests fall broadly into the area of mental health interventions. In particular, I am interested in exploring different ways to increase access to evidence-based psychological interventions for those in need.

Within this scope, my three primary interests are:

  1. The development and evaluation of distance-delivered psychological interventions (e.g., telephone and/or Internet-based care)
  2. The exploration of transdiagnostic interventions (i.e., interventions focused on treating shared risk factors, most notably anxiety sensitivity), and
  3. The use of physical exercise (e.g., running) in mental health treatment. My interests are grounded in cognitive behavioural theories with a focus on anxiety and related disorders (depression, trauma, substance use).

Secondarily, I am interested in the psychosocial risk factors that contribute to alcohol use among adolescents and young adults. I am particularly interested in how psychological factors, such as motives and expectations, and social influences (peers, family, coaches) impact involvement in risky drinking behaviours (e.g., binge drinking, pregaming, drinking games), especially among high school and college student-athletes. 
I always welcome enquiries from graduate and undergraduate students who might be interested in pursuing research in any of these areas!


  • BA (Hon) Smith College
  • PhD (Clinical Psychology) Dalhousie University

Selected publications

Herring, T. E., Zamboanga, B. L., Olthuis, J. V., Pesigan, I. J. A., Martin, J. L., McAfee, N. W., & Martens, M. P. (in press). Utility of the Athlete Drinking Scale for high school athletes. Addictive Behaviors.
Olthuis, J. V., Watt, M. C., Bailey, K., Hayden, J. A., & Stewart, S. H. (2016). Therapist-supported Internet cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 3. Art No.: CD011565.pub2.
Tomaso, C. C., Zamboanga, B. L., Haas, A. L., Olthuis, J. V., Kenney, S. R., & Ham, L. S. (2015). All it takes is one: Drinking games, prepartying, and negative drinking consequences among high school students. Journal of Substance Use, 20, 77-84.
Olthuis, J. V., Watt, M. C., Mackinnon, S. P., Potter, S., & Stewart, S. H. (2015). The nature of the association between anxiety sensitivity and pain-related anxiety: Evidence from correlational and intervention studies. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 44, 423-440.
Olthuis, J. V., Stewart, S. H., Mackinnon, S. P., & Watt, M. C. (2015). CBT for high anxiety sensitivity: Alcohol use outcomes. Addictive Behaviors, 46, 19-24.
Olthuis, J. V., Watt, M. C., Mackinnon, S. P., & Stewart, S. H. (2014). Telephone-delivered CBT for high anxiety sensitivity: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82, 1005-1022.
Zamboanga, B. L., Olthuis, J. V., Kenney, S. R., Correia, C. J., Van Tyne, K., Ham, L. S., & Borsari, B. (2014). Not just fun and games: A review of drinking games research from 2003-2013. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28, 682-695.
Borsari, B., Peterson, C., Correia, C. J., Zamboanga, B. L., Olthuis, J. V., Ham, L. S., & Grossbard, J. (2014). The Hazardous Drinking Games Measure: A multi-site implementation. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 40, 395-402.
Olthuis, J. V., Watt, M. C., & Stewart, S. H. (2014). Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI-3) subscales predict unique variance in anxiety and depressive symptoms. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 28, 115-124.
Olthuis, J. V., Darredeau, C., & Barrett, S. P. (2013). Substance use initiation: The role of simultaneous polysubstance use. Drug and Alcohol Review, 32, 67-71.
Olthuis, J. V., Stewart, S. H., Watt, M. C., Sabourin, B. C., & Keogh, E. (2012). From anxiety sensitivity to panic and generalized anxiety symptoms: The mediating role of negative interpretation biases. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 34, 332-342.
Olthuis, J. V., Stewart, S. H., McLaughlin, E. N., & Watt, M. C. (2012). Anxiety sensitivity. In R. J. Levesque (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Adolescence (pp.149-159). New York, New York: Springer.
Olthuis, J. V., Zamboanga, B. L., Ham, L. S., & Van Tyne, K. (2011). The utility of a gender-specific definition of binge drinking on the AUDIT. Journal of American College Health, 59, 239-245.
Olthuis, J. V., Zamboanga, B. L., Martens, M. P., & Ham, L. S. (2011). Social influences, alcohol expectancies, and hazardous alcohol use among college athletes. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 5, 24-43.


  • Undergraduate: Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 3353), Community Psychology (PSYC 3415)
  • Graduate: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (PSYC 6405)

Professional awards

  • 2015: Dissertation Award, Traumatic Stress Section, Canadian Psychological Association
  • 2014: Ronald Melzack Award (oral communication), Health Psychology Section, Canadian Psychological Association
  • 2014: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canadian Institutes for Health Research
  • 2013: Brian Dufton Memorial prize for Outstanding Graduate Achievement in Psychology, Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia
  • 2012: Clinical Citizenship Award, Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University
  • 2011-2013: Killam Graduate Scholarship (Honourary), Dalhousie University
  • 2010-2013: Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar Award, Canadian Institute of Health Research
  • 2010: Teaching Assistantship Award, Council of Canadian Departments of Psychology on the recommendation of Dalhousie University Department of Psychology