Bo Kyung (Elizabeth) Kim

Assistant Professor
Contact Information
City Center
Department of Study 
Children, Youth and Families
Research Interest 
Children & Families
Social Development/Policy
Juvenile Justice
Prevention Science
Translational Research
PhD, University of Washington, 2014
MSW, University of Michigan, 2010
BA, University of California, Los Angeles, 2008

ELIZABETH KIM joined the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work in 2016 after completing her postdoctoral scholarship at the Berkeley Center for Prevention in Social Welfare. Her work focuses on examining community- and school-based prevention strategies as alternatives to youth incarceration. The goal of her research agenda is to build and translate evidence for strengths-based policy and practice that promote positive development of young people instead of criminalizing and stigmatizing them. 

Kim’s research broadly covers three areas: 1) basic and applied research on justice system-involved youth; 2) developmental research; and 3) school-based intervention research. Her justice system research uses administrative data investigating the mental, emotional and behavioral health among probation youth. This uncovers the specific treatment needs probation youth bring as they come in contact with the justice system. Kim’s developmental research uses community-based longitudinal surveys to examine predictors as well as consequences of behavioral health problems, informing targets for prevention. Finally, as a research affiliate of the Berkeley Center for Prevention Research in Social Welfare, she continues to engage in school-based intervention research, examining the role of a social emotional learning program in reducing school discipline. Together, her research seeks to offer practical solutions to school-to-prison pipeline.   

She is a member of the Society for Social Work and Research, the Society for Prevention Research, the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration and the American Society for Criminology. Kim serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, Prevention Science, and the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. Her teaching interests include research methods and social work in juvenile justice settings.

Awards and Distinction
Early Career Preventionist Network NIDA Travel Scholarship, Society for Prevention Research (2013-2016)
Early Career Investigator, Network of Expertise for the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration (2015)
Scott J. Briar Dissertation Research Award, University of Washington, Seattle (2014)
Student Poster Contest 1st Place, Society for Prevention Research (2013)
More awards
Selected Publications

Shapiro, V.B., Kim, B.K.E., Fleming, J.L., & LeBuffe, P.A. (2016). Protective factor screening: Sensitivity and specificity of the DESSA-mini in routine practice. School Psychology Quarterly, online first:

Logan-Greene, P., Kim, B.K.E., & Nurius, P.S. (2016). Childhood adversity among court-involved youth: Heterogeneous needs for prevention and treatment. Journal of Juvenile Justice, 5(2), 68-84

Kim, B.K.E., Gilman, A.B., Hill, K.G., & Hawkins, J.D. (2016). Examining protective factors against violence among high-risk youth: Findings from the Seattle Social Development Project. Journal of Criminal Justice, 45, 19-25. 

Kim, B.K.E., Oesterle, S., Catalano, R.F., & Hawkins, J.D. (2015). Change in protective factors across adolescent development. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 40, 26-37

Kim, B.K.E., Gloppen, K.M., Rhew, I.C., Oesterle, S., & Hawkins, J.D. (2015). Effects of the Communities That Care Prevention System on Youth Reports of Protective Factors. Prevention Science, 16(5), 652-662