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Youngmi Kim portrait

Youngmi Kim, Ph.D.

Associate professor

Email: ykim@vcu.edu

Phone: (804) 828-3613

Postdoctoral fellow, Washington University, St. Louis
Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis
M.S.W., Washington University, St. Louis
M.A., Yonsei University, Korea
B.A., Yonsei University, Korea

Youngmi Kim, Ph.D., associate professor, is committed to reducing poverty and improving social and economic justice. Her research interests include effects of assets and economic hardship (notably food insecurity) on child/adolescent development, adulthood outcomes and family well-being. Kim's current research also focuses on the intersection of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and financial challenges across the life span. She aims to advance knowledge in these substantive areas and inform policy and practice through research dissemination and teaching.

She has worked on asset-building social policies and programs at both the national and global contexts. Asset-building policy is an innovative social investment strategy that promotes financial capability of individuals and families by providing institutional supports (e.g. matching fund and financial education) and reducing barriers to saving for long-term development, such as post-secondary education, homeownership, and microenterprise; generally designed and implemented in the form of matched savings account programs known as Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and Child Development Accounts (CDAs).

Notable awards, honors, and appointments

  • Core faculty member, Sustainable Food Access, the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry, & Innovation (iCubed), 2019-present
  • Faculty Associate, Center for Social Development, Washington University, St. Louis, 2011-present
  • Fellow, the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
  • Faculty Social Justice Award, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work, 2013
  • Outstanding Dissertation in Social Work Research, 24th National Symposium for Doctoral Research in Social Work, Ohio State University, 2011

Teaching areas and interests

Current courses taught at VCU

  • Introduction to Quantitative Data Analysis (SWKD 702, Ph.D. level)
  • Quantitative Data Analysis Seminar (SWKD 791, Ph.D. Level)
  • Research for Planning and Administrative Practice I & II (SLWK714 & 715, M.S.W. level)
  • Foundations of Social Work Research (SLWK609, M.S.W. level)

Areas of teaching/mentoring expertise

  • Financial capability and asset-building policy and programs
  • Food insecurity
  • Intersection of economic hardship and ACEs
  • Quantitative research

Research projects and funding (selected)

  • PI, “Food insecurity and associated risks among college students,” VCU SSW, 2019-2020
  • Consultant, “Restricted-use data for empirical research,” the Korea Labor Institute, 2019
  • Co-PI, “Patterns of adverse childhood experiences and health risk behaviors among college students in South Korea,” the National Research Foundation of Korea


Selected recent publications

Kim, Y., Lee, H, & Park, A. (2020). Adverse Childhood Experiences, Economic Hardship, and Obesity: Differences by Gender. Children and Youth Services Review, 116.

Kim, Y., Kim, K, Chartier, K., Wike, T., & McDonald, S. Adverse Childhood Experience Patterns, Major Depressive Disorder, and Substance Use Disorder in Older Adults. Aging and Mental Health. Online First. 

Lee, H., Kim, Y., & Terry J. (2020). Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on mental disorders in young adulthood: Latent classes and community violence exposure. Preventive Medicine, 134. 

Swan, L., Mennicke, A., Kim, Y. Reproductive Coercion and Interpersonal Violence Victimization Experiences Among College Students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Online First. 

Lee, H., & Kim, Y. (2019). Living in three-generation family households and body mass index trajectories in Hispanic adolescents: Different associations by immigrant status. Children and Youth Services Review, 107.

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

Kim, Y., Ju, E., Rosenberg, R., & Farmer, B. (2019). Estimating the effects of Independent Living Services on educational attainment and employment of foster care youth. Children and Youth Services Review, 96, 294-301. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.11.048

Huang, J, Beverly, S, Kim, Y., Clancy, M, & Sherraden, M. (2019). Exploring a Model for Integrating Child Development Accounts with Social Services for Vulnerable Families. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 53(3), 770–795.

Birkenmaier, J. M., Maynard, B., & Kim, Y. Interventions designed to improve financial capability by improving financial behavior and financial access: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews. Online First 19 July 2019.

Kim, Y., Huang, J., Sherraden, M, & Clancy, M. (2018). Child Development Accounts and saving for college: Mediated by parental educational expectations? Social Science Quarterly, 99(3), 1105–1118.

Park A, & Kim, Y. (2018). The Longitudinal Influence of Child Maltreatment on Child Obesity in South Korea: The Mediating Effects of Low Self-Esteem and Depressive Symptoms. Children and Youth Services Review, 87 (April), 34-40.

Rosenberg, R., & Kim, Y. (2018). Aging out of Foster Care: Homelessness, Post-Secondary Education, and Employment. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 12(1), 99-115.

Kim, Y., Huang, J., Sherraden, M., & Clancy, M. (2017). Child Development Accounts, Parental Savings, and Parental Educational Expectations: A Path Model. Children and Youth Services Review, 79 (August), 20-28.

Kim, Y., Park, A, & Huang, J. (2017). Is food insecurity associated with depressive symptoms in South Korea? Asian Social Work and Policy Review, 11, 30-39.

Huang, J., Kim, Y., & Sherraden, M. (2017). Material hardship and children’s social-emotional development: Testing mitigating effects of Child Development Accounts in a randomized experiment. Child: Care, Health & Development, 43(1), 89-96. 

Kim, Y., Kim, K., & Lee, S. (2015). Testing the Self-Efficacy Questionnaire with Korean children in institutionalized care. Research on Social Work Practice.

Kim, Y., Sherraden, M., Huang, J., & Clancy, M. (2015). Child Development Accounts and Parental Educational Expectations for Young Children: Early Evidence from a Statewide Social Experiment. Social Service Review, 89 (1), 99-137.

Service (selected)

  • Consulting Editor, Social Work Research
  • Editorial Board Member, Research on Social Work Practice
  • Editorial Board Member, Korean Journal of Social Welfare Research
  • Promotion and Tenure Committee, Chair (2020-2021), VCU SSW
  • Racial Justice Task Force, VCU SSW