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B.K. Elizabeth Kim - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

B.K. Elizabeth Kim B.K. Elizabeth Kim

Assistant Professor of Social Work | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Los Angeles, CA, UNITED STATES

Bo Kyung (Elizabeth) Kim's examines community and school-based prevention strategies as alternatives to youth incarceration.

Biography

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.

To reference the work of B.K. Elizabeth Kim online, we ask that you directly quote their work where possible and attribute it to "B.K. Elizabeth Kim, a faculty at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work” (LINK: https://dworakpeck.usc.edu)

Education (3)

University of Washington: Ph.D. 2014

University of Michigan: M.S.W., Social Policy & Evaluation 2010

University of California, Los Angeles: B.A., Interpersonal & Intercultural Communications Studies 2008

Areas of Expertise (8)

Translation Research

Delinquency/Violence

Social Policy

Schools

Children & Families

Social Development

Juvenile Justice

Prevention Science

Industry Expertise (2)

Education/Learning

Social Services

Accomplishments (1)

Early Career Preventionist Network NIDA Travel Scholarship (professional)

Early Career Preventionist Network NIDA Travel Scholarship, Society for Prevention Research (2013-2016)

Social

Articles & Publications (7)

Protective Factor Screening for Prevention Practice: Sensitivity and Specificity of the DESSA-Mini. School Psychology Quarterly

2016

The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment Mini (DESSA-Mini; Naglieri, LeBuffe, & Shapiro, 2011/2014) was designed to overcome practical obstacles to universal prevention screening. This article seeks to determine whether an entirely strength-based, 8-item screening instrument achieves technical accuracy in routine practice. Data come from a district-wide implementation of a new social emotional learning (SEL) initiative designed to promote students’ social-emotional competence. All students, kindergarten through Grade 8, were screened using the DESSA-Mini. A random 5 students per classroom received additional assessment. Concurrent and predictive criterion studies were conducted using the full DESSA as well as administrative records of serious disciplinary infraction. The DESSA-Mini showed excellent internal reliability, exceeding .90. Negligible to small differences were found between scores on the DESSA-Mini screen and the DESSA full assessment. Classification consistency between the DESSA-Mini and the DESSA was high (87%–94%) in routine practice, with sensitivity and specificity estimates exceeding Glascoe’s (2005) standards. Finally, predictive validity of the DESSA-Mini was reliable; students screened as having a Need for SEL Instruction at the beginning of the year were 4.5 times more likely to have a record of serious disciplinary infraction at the end of the school year compared with those who were not identified (p < .001). These findings compare quite favorably with other instruments used in schools to screen entire student populations, in cases where such analyses have been conducted, and is consistent with a practice preference of identifying, but not overidentifying, students for accelerated preventative interventions for mental, emotional, and behavioral problems

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Childhood Adversity Among Court-Involved Youth: Heterogeneous Needs for Prevention and Treatment OJJDP Journal of Juvenile Justice

2016

Although experiences of trauma and adversity are highly prevalent among juvenile justice–involved youth, few studies examine the heterogeneity of these histories across individuals. This study seeks to inform practitioners of the distinct patterns of adversity among this vulnerable population, using an expanded measure of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). A Latent Class Analysis was employed to test for meaningful subgroups of youth based on histories of childhood adversity. The sample (N = 5,378) consisted of youth on probation in a western United States county. The best-fitting model contained six classes, described as: Low All (40.3%), Parental Substance Use and Incarceration (12.0%), Poverty and Parental Health Problems (13.2%), High Family Conflict and SES (socioeconomic status) (15.3%), High Maltreatment (11.0%), and High All (8.1%). Additional testing revealed significant differences across classes in terms of age, gender, race/ethnicity, and living situations. Results strongly support the need to incorporate a trauma-informed framework into both juvenile justice and community service settings as well as to tailor interventions to meet heterogeneous needs of court-involved youth. Striking variation in the forms and levels of childhood adversity argue for the value of screening for ACEs in conjunction with poverty and working to interrupt problematic trajectories in adolescence and the transition to adulthood.

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Examining protective factors against violence among high-risk youth: Findings from the Seattle Social Development Project Journal of Criminal Justice

2016

This paper examined proximal and distal effects of protective factors specified in the social development model (SDM) on youth violence among high-risk youth.

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The Strengths of Youth in a Public Behavioral Health System: Measurement Choices, Prevalence Rates, and Group Differences Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research

Youth with severe emotional and behavioral problems receiving services in public behavioral health systems have strengths that are understudied in research and underutilized in practice. This study explores four alternative strategies (individual item scores, the number of “actionable” strengths, subscales, and a total composite) for summarizing the strengths of youth assessed with the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) in a large, urban, public behavioral health system. The paper examines whether these summarization strategies produce divergent understandings of the prevalence of strengths across gender, age, and racial groups. Analyses suggest that youth enter this system with high levels of strengths. There are few group differences in strengths across the diverse summarization strategies. Though the practice-preferred method of using individual strengths items provides the most interpretable information about strengths, the aggregation strategies may be useful for programs and systems. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

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Effects of the Communities That Care Prevention System on Youth Reports of Protective Factors Prevention Science

2015

Many interventions seeking to reduce problem behaviors and promote healthy youth development target both risk and protective factors, yet few studies have examined the effect of preventive interventions on overall levels of protection community wide. In a community-randomized controlled trial, this study tested the effect of Communities That Care (CTC) on protective factors in 24 communities across seven states. Data on protective factors were collected from a panel of 4407 youths in CTC and control communities followed from grade 5 through grade 8. Hierarchical linear modeling compared mean levels of 15 protective factors derived from the social development model in CTC and control communities in grade 8, adjusted for individual and community characteristics and baseline levels of protective factors in grade 5. Global test statistics were calculated to examine effects on protection overall and by domain. Analyses across all protective factors found significantly higher levels of overall protection in CTC compared to control communities. Analyses by domain found significantly higher levels of protection in CTC than control communities in the community, school, and peer/individual domains, but not in the family domain. Significantly higher levels of opportunities for prosocial involvement in the community, recognition for prosocial involvement in school, interaction with prosocial peers, and social skills among CTC compared to control youth contributed to the overall and domain-specific results. This is consistent with CTC’s theory of change, which posits that strengthening protective factors is a mechanism through which CTC prevents behavior problems. © 2014, Society for Prevention Research.

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Change in protective factors across adolescent development Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology

2015

Understanding the developmental changes in protective factors that lead to healthy youth development provides important information on the appropriate timing and targets for community-based prevention. This study used a control sample of 2002 individuals from 7 states to examine the normative development of protective factors. Data come from the Community Youth Development Study, a community-randomized trial of Communities That Care. Multilevel models estimated the change in protective factors from 5th to 12th grade, controlling for individual characteristics. Gender difference and school transitions were examined. Findings suggest that most protective factors decline through middle school but start increasing during high school, with some declining at slower rates than in middle school. Although females reported higher levels of protective factors than males, the transitional point did not differ by gender. Community initiatives that seek to bolster protective factors should start early and continue through high school.

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Effects of the communities that care prevention system on youth reports of protective factors. Prevention Science

2015

Many interventions seeking to reduce problem behaviors and promote healthy youth development target both risk and protective factors, yet few studies have examined the effect of preventive interventions on overall levels of protection community wide. In a community-randomized controlled trial, this study tested the effect of Communities That Care (CTC) on protective factors in 24 communities across seven states. Data on protective factors were collected from a panel of 4407 youths in CTC and control communities followed from grade 5 through grade 8. Hierarchical linear modeling compared mean levels of 15 protective factors derived from the social development model in CTC and control communities in grade 8, adjusted for individual and community characteristics and baseline levels of protective factors in grade 5. Global test statistics were calculated to examine effects on protection overall and by domain. Analyses across all protective factors found significantly higher levels of overall protection in CTC compared to control communities. Analyses by domain found significantly higher levels of protection in CTC than control communities in the community, school, and peer/individual domains, but not in the family domain. Significantly higher levels of opportunities for prosocial involvement in the community, recognition for prosocial involvement in school, interaction with prosocial peers, and social skills among CTC compared to control youth contributed to the overall and domain-specific results. This is consistent with CTC's theory of change, which posits that strengthening protective factors is a mechanism through which CTC prevents behavior problems.

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