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 principlal 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 in 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

Doctoral Student

Connor is a fourth-year graduate student pursuing a PhD in child clinical psychology who has been with the lab since September of 2012. Broadly, he is interested in the development of distinct aspects of self-regulation through adolescence and young adulthood and their impact on developing substance use and other risk behavior. His current focus is on investigating the impact of early adversity on developmental pathways of emotion regulation and substance use among sexual minority youth.


Max Halvorson

Doctoral Student

Max is a first year graduate student interested in the development of psychopathology across childhood and adolescence. In particular, he is interested in impaired self-regulation ability as a precursor to disordered substance use. He is currently focused on examining change in self-regulation over the middle childhood years and the concordance of different measures of self-regulation.

Madison Feil

Doctoral Student

Research Staff


Claire Cho

Research Assistant

Claire is graduating this quarter with a BS in psychology and a BA in communication. She is planning to work at a start up company as a part of marketing team. She loves chocolate and dessert so much that she once ate cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Maya Curtinzupan

Research Assistant

Maya is a junior in the psychology major and anthropology minor. She plays ultimate frisbee in her spare time and hopes to become an industrial/organizational psychologist.

Sarah Kim

Research Assistant

Sarah is currently a junior at UW majoring in Psychology (BS) and minoring in Comparative Literature. This winter, she is applying to occupational therapy programs to pursue a career in pediatric occupational therapy to help improve the lives of children with autism, Down syndrome, and other developmental disorders. Also, she watches too much TV and loves avocados! 

Natalie Upton

Research Assistant

Natalie Upton is a sophomore Psychology major and Spanish minor with intentions to pursue departmental honors. She enjoys scuba diving in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere in the world. In the future, she plans to attend a clinical doctorate program in psychology and eventually practice at a clinical level. She is currently exploring her interests in child and adolescent psychology as well as learning about impulsivity and risk-taking behaviors with the lab.

Alumni - Former Graduate Students


Jeremy Luk, Ph.D.

Doctoral Alumni, 2015. Postdoctoral Scholar at UC San Diego and Postdoctoral Fellow at San Diego State University.

Jeremy is interested in the development and prevention of substance use and addictive behaviors across the lifespan. He has previously conducted research looking at the link between bullying and substance use, as well as the association parenting and substance use across European and Asian American youth. Currently, he is completing a postdoctoral fellowship in San Diego and would like to incoporate genetic data analysis as part of his longituinal research.

Rick A. Cruz, Ph.D.

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

Rick studies 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.

Lab Alumni


Rachel Lee

Undergraduate Honors Alumni, 2014.

Rachel completed 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. Student, American University School of Counseling

Naser's honors thesis was focused on mindfulness and self-regulation. His interests are in 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.

After completing her honors project with Dr. King, Crystal has gone on to a career in education. Crystal recently graduated with her Master's degree in Teaching from Heritage University and currently works as a fourth-grade teacher.

Alex Swanson

Undergraduate Honors Alumni, 2013.

Alex completed his honors thesis on parenting, impulsivity, and adolescent substance use.  He was with the lab from winter 2011 to spring 2013.  He completed his BS in Psychology and is currently working as a research assistant at the Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors (CSHRB) at UW.

Andie Uomoto

Undergraduate Honors Alumni, 2013.

Andie's thesis was about how different family factors may influence one's ability to cope after a stressful event. Her hobbies are video games and cooking, and she was with the lab from 2011 to 2013. Andie is currently working as a research study coordinator and post-baccalaureate research assistant in several labs around UW.

Becca Emery

Undergraduate 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

Undergraduate 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

Undergraduate 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

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

Mallory is currently a 5th-year clinical Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at SUNY Albany. She is on clinical internship at the UCSD/San Diego VA and will be beginning a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University and the National Center for PTSD in Palo Alto, CA.

Matthew Vaughn

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

Matthew is currently finishing up a Master's program in Healthcare Administration and Public Health. Matthew has most recently worked on a research project looking at various value-based payment reform projects around the country through qualitative interviews, the final results of which were published in Medical Care Research and Review last year. He will soon begin a position as an administrative fellow for CHI Franciscan working in the cardiovascular service line.

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.