Kevin King, PhD

Principal Investigator and Lab Director

The focus of our research is on the developmental psychopathology of substance use in adolescence and young adulthood. Although nearly all adolescents experiment with alcohol use, and nearly half of them experiment with some kind of illegal drug (usually marijuana), most adolescents do not develop into adults with a substance use disorder. Thus the goals of our work are to elucidate both who is most at risk for the development of substance use disorders and to understand how that risk unfolds across development.

Our research has had two important foci. First, we have been attempting to understand how the cognitive and emotional aspects of self-regulation develop across adolescence, how that development is associated with risky behaviors, including substance use, how context shapes their development, and how these forms of self-regulation may either enhance or buffer the effects of other risk factors on problematic alcohol and drug use. A second line of research has examined the structure of and relations between risky behaviors that are related to substance use, such as externalizing behaviors and risky sexual behaviors, and how they may change across development. 

Finally, our research explores and utilizes advanced statistical methods to study development and change over time, including latent growth curve modeling, structural equation modeling, hierarchical linear modeling, IRT and measurement models, and advanced tests and forms of mediational processes. 

Dr. King has been principle and co-investigator on multiple federal and private foundation grants to examine substance use in youth and is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications appearing in major journals including Addiction, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Prevention Science.

Doctoral Students


Kristine Thimm Louie

Doctoral Student

Kristine is interested risk and resilience related to developmental psychopathology, particularly in adolescents. Specifically, she is interested in environmental and contextual influences on self-regulation and impulsivity. She is currently focusing on the effects of depression, anxiety, and stress on impulsive behavior.

Connor McCabe

Graduate Student

Connor is a first-year graduate student pursuing a PhD in child clinical psychology who has been with the lab since September of 2012. He is interested in the development of impulse control, sensation seeking, and emotion regulation and their impact on substance use and risk behavior during adolescence. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, weight lifting, video games, and running. He received a BS in developmental psychology from the University of California San Diego in 2009.


Honors Students


Research Staff




Jeremy Luk

Doctoral Alumni, 2015 (expected). Clinical Psychology Resident, University of Washington Child Track.

Jeremy received his B.S. in psychology and B.A. in comparative religion from the University of Washington in 2008. Following graduation, he worked as a post-baccalaureate fellow at the Prevention Research Branch of NICHD. In 2009, he returned to UW to begin his graduate training in child clinical psychology. Jeremy’s primary research interest lies in the etiology, prevention and treatment of addictive behaviors in adolescence and emerging adulthood. He is also interested in substance use and mental health services in minority groups, especially among Asian Americans. Currently, he is conducting research to understand gender- and ethnic-specific risk and protective factors of alcohol and substance use among adolescents and young adults. Jeremy has defended his dissertation and is currently completing his clinical internship at the University of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Children's Hospital.

Rick A. Cruz, Ph.D.

Doctoral Student, 2007-2014. Assistant Professor of Psychology, Utah State University.

Rick is interested in studying the development of substance use behavior in ethnic minority youth within the complex social and cultural milieu. In particular, he is interested in examining variables that explain the relationship between acculturation (orientation towards American culture) and increased substance use. Rick is currently focusing on the changing family and peer contexts that result from greater acculturation.

Rachel Lee

Undergraduate Honors Alumni, 2014.

Rachel is a senior honors student who is thinking about doing her thesis on self-regulation and risky sexual behaviors or drinking and mindfulness. Her interests in child clinical are CD/ODD and anxiety. In her free time, she likes going to concerts, plays, and the movies, cooking, and baking. She worked in the lab from January 2013 to spring of 2013, when she earned her BA in sociology and her BS in psychology . She can speak another language fluently and has been to 12 countries. Rachel is currently pursuing a career in web design.


Naser Abdulraheem

Undergraduate Honors Alumni, 2014.

Naser is a junior at the UW. For his honors thesis, he studied mindfulness and self-regulation. His interests are health psychology, stress and coping. . In his free time, he enjoys soccer and traveling. He was in the lab from January 2013 to May of 2014, when he completed his BS in psychology and BA in sociology at the UW. He is from Kuwait on a governmental student scholarship in psychology. He is currently pursuing his MS in Counseling at American University.

Harrison Owens

Undergraduate Honors Alumni. 2013. Student, University of Washington School of Law.

Harrison is a senior honors student whose thesis is about discrimination, stress, and risk of substance abuse. He has been with the lab since November 2011. His areas of interest in psychology are substance use, neuropharmacology, and stress. He plans to go to law school at UW. In his free time, Harrison likes to play soccer. He earned his BA in psychology with minors in Japan studies and law, and is currently pursing his J.D. at the University of Washington.

Crystal Silvia

Undergraduate Honors Alumni. 2013.

Crystal is a junior psychology honors student. She is originally from Richland, WA and has since been continuing her education at University of Washington. Her honors thesis project studied the impact of stress on coping behaviors. Crystal graduated in 2013 and is now preparing for graduate school applications.


Alex Swanson

Undergraduate Honors Alumni, 2013.

Alex is a senior honors student interested broadly in child clinical psychology.  Specifically in parenting, impulsivity, and adolescent substance use.  He is part of two studies with the other honors students to collect data for our senior thesis.  He is planning to take a year or two to gain more research experience before applying to grad school, but he does plan on going to grad school eventually.  His other interests include traveling and playing intramural sports.  He was with the lab from December 2011 to spring of 2013.  He completed his BS in Psychology and is currently working as a research assistant at CSHRB.


Andie Uomoto

Undergraduate Honors Research Alumni, 2013.

Andie is a senior honors student earning a BS in psychology whose thesis is about how different family factors may influence one's ability to cope after a stressful event. She is primarily interested in developmental psychology and plans on attending graduate school in a field related to child development. Her hobbies are video games and cooking, and she has been with the lab since September of 2011. Andie is currently working as a research study coordinator and post-baccalaureate research assistant in several labs around UW.

Becca Emery

Honors Alumni, 2012. Doctoral Student, University of Pittsburgh Clinical Psychology

Becca received her B.S. in psychology and B.A. in philosophy at the University of Washington in 2012. Dr. King served as her undergraduate honors advisor and assisted with her project investigating the effects of negative urgency on dietary restraint and negative affect in relation to maladaptive eating behaviors. Becca is currently attending graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh and pursuing a joint Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Biological Health. Her research focuses on weight regulation and smoking cessation during and after the gestation period in adult women.

Teague Henry

Honors Alumni, 2012. Doctoral Student, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Quantitative Psychology.

Teague received his B.S. in Psychology at the University of Washington in 2012. Teague completed his honors thesis project on the influenced of peers on adolescent substance use, utilizing social network analysis to examine how the interplay between peer networks characteristics and individual differences might affect the development of substance use (hint: they didn't). Teague is now pursing his Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology at the University of National Champions, also known as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Dr. King was an undergraduate at this fine institution).

Kenny Karyadi

Honors Alumni, 2010. Doctoral Candidate, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, Clinical Psychology

Kenny is an honors student alumni, with a major in Psychology from the University of Washington. His main interests are clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience. His honors thesis examines the conjoint influences of impulsivity and negative emotions on alcohol use. Kenny was awarded the 2010 Guthrie Prize for Best Empirical Paper in the Department of Psychology at UW. He is currently pursing his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, studying the personality, cognitive and neurological factors that underlie problematic substance use.

Mallory Loflin

Honors Alumni, 2009. Doctoral Student, SUNY-Albany.

Mallory is an honors student alumni. She studied how behavior change approaches might work, especially among individuals who are high on at—risk personality factors like impulsivity. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at SUNY-Albany. 

Matthew Vaughn

Honors Alumni, 2010. Graduate Student, Public Health, University of Washington.

Matthew received a double major in psychology and economics from the University of Washington. He was born in Syracuse, New York, moved to Portland, Oregon when he was eight, and moved to Vancouver, Washington in 2010. Matthew likes cognitive and social psychology, and studied the intersection of behavioral economics and psychology by testing how personality differences may alter decisions about substance use. Since working in the PsychLab, Matthew has become passionate about the field of Public Health and is currently pursing graduate study in that field.

Lauren Brackenbury

Research Study Coordinator

Lauren received her B.A. in psychology from Reed College in 2011, where she wrote her senior thesis on the relationship between motives to use illicit substances and substance use and abuse among college students, using data collected from students at three universities in the northwest and midwest United States. Prior to graduation, Lauren worked in two psychology laboratories, one at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and one at the Reed College Adolescent Health Research Program, resulting in two publications with a third in press. Lauren's primary research interests are the prediction and treatment of developing substance abuse among adolescents and young adults. Lauren is currently working as a Program Coordinator for the PhD, MPH and MS programs at the UW School of Public Health: Health Services program.

Rena Peterson

Research Assistant, Lab Alumni (2014). Graduate Student, University of Washington School of Social Work.

Rena Peterson has a B.S. in Psychology. She has applied to several PhD programs in child clinical psychology. Rena has a strong interest in research in developmental psychology with a focus on specific communication and interaction methods as means of improving educational outcomes in high potential, high risk students and controlling environmental and cultural factors leading to impulsivity, anxiety, stress, impulsive behavior and substance abuse.


Send questions about this workspace to Kevin King.