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Kyeongmo Kim portrait

Kyeongmo Kim, Ph.D.

Assistant professor

Email: kkim7@vcu.edu

Phone: (804) 827-8890

Ph.D., University of Maryland
M.S.W., Washington University in St. Louis
M.A., Yonsei University
B.A., Korea University

Kyeongmo Kim, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the VCU School of Social Work. His scholarship focuses on aging and mental health. He has particular interests in the role of programs, policies, and neighborhood environments in predicting mental health status and service utilization of older racial and ethnic minorities.

His current research examines the effects of residential/racial segregation on mental health services use among older racial and ethnic minorities. This research expands our understanding of disparities in mental health service use (within- and between-group differences) and informs intervention strategies targeted at specific racial and ethnic minorities. He is also working on research projects that investigate the associations between neighborhood physical and social environments and the well-being of older adults, with special attention to the social determinants of health and health disparities.

His research is informed by his practice experiences at both the domestic and international level. He was a program director at a community-based organization serving older immigrants in Chicago. In South Korea, he was a social worker and developed and implemented social enterprise programs with working poor families; he also worked as an investigator at the Presidential Commission that promotes human rights. He serves as the Aging Certificate Program coordinator and welcomes mentoring opportunities to guide students about the issues that older adults face in his research, teaching and scholarship.

Notable awards, honors and appointments

  • Excellence in Research Award, Honorable Mention, Society for Social Work and Research 2020

  • Council on Social Work Education Minority Fellowship Program, 2013-2016

  • The best quantitative article of the year, Journal of Social Work Education, 2016

  • Excellent Paper Award, National Research Foundation of Korea, 2016

  • Grantmakers in Aging Fellowship, 2015

  • Pre-Dissertation Fellow, Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work, 2012-2013

Research projects and funding

Recent and current funded projects

Principal Investigator, Effects of residential segregation on older adults’ use of mental health services. Virginia Commonwealth University Presidential Research Quest Fund.

Principal Investigator, Neighborhood environment, food security, and wellbeing of older adults. Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work.


Selected publications

Kim, K., Lehning, A., & Sacco, P. (2020). The role of county characteristics in mental health service use by older African Americans. Psychiatric Services, 71(5), 465-471.

Kim, Y., Kim K., Chartier, K., Wike, T., & McDonald, S. (in press). Adverse childhood experience patterns, major depressive disorder, and substance use disorder in older adults. Aging and Mental Health.

Kim, K. (2019). County context and mental health service utilization by older Hispanics. The Gerontologist, 59(3), 456-464. 

Kim, Y., Park, A., & Kim, K. (2019). Food insecurity and depressive symptoms of older adults living alone in South Korea. Ageing & Society, 39(9), 2042-2058. Advance online publication.

Kim, K., Lehning, A., & Sacco, P. (2018). Analyzing the problem: Disparities in behavioral and mental health for older adults. In C. Moniz & S. Gorin (Eds.), Mental health care policy and practice: A biopsychosocial perspective. New York, NY: Routledge.

Smith, R., Lehning, A., & Kim, K. (2018). Aging in place in gentrifying neighborhoods: Implications for older adults’ physical and mental health. The Gerontologist, 58, 26-35.

Lee, M., & Kim, K. (2017). Older adults' perceptions of age-friendliness in Busan Metropolitan City. Urban Policy and Research, 35, 199-209.

Kim, K., Lehning, A., & Sacco, P. (2016). Assessing the factor structure of well-being in older adults: Findings from the National Health and Aging Trends Study. Aging and Mental Health, 20, 814-822.