Dr. Kia K. Asberg

Department of Psychology

Associate Professor
Director: MA Program - Clinical Psychology
Phone: 828-227-3451
Email: kasberg@wcu.edu
Office: McKee G51


  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology (2008): University of Central Florida, College of Sciences, Department of Psychology
  • Pre-doctoral Internship in Clinical & Community Psychology (2007-08): Yale, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
  • M.S. Clinical Psychology (2005): University of Central Florida, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Psychology
  • B.S. Psychology (2000): Florida State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Psychology


Originally from Sweden, Dr. Asberg joined the Western Carolina faculty in the fall of 2008 after receiving her M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Central Florida (2008) and completing her pre-doctoral clinical internship in the Adult/Dialectical Behavior Therapy-SUD track at Yale (2007-2008). Dr. Asberg specializes in research pertaining to stress, trauma, and resilience. In 2012, Dr. Asberg received the Deborah L. Rhatigan Early Career Award for Excellence in Violence Research, presented by the Child Maltreatment and Interpersonal Violence Special Interest Group of ABCT. Together with undergraduate and graduate students, Dr. Asberg runs the Stress, Violence, Emotions, and Adjustment (SVEA) Lab at WCU, which centers around studying the effects of potentially traumatic events (PTEs) and increasing the awareness of the broader impact of child maltreatment and other forms of interpersonal violence on the individual and communities. Recent studies in the SVEA Lab have examined the effects of homelessness and sexual victimization among women in the criminal justice system, stress reactivity and substance use in veterans, and predictors of abuse recidivism among children and families involved with child protective services (CPS). Students (undergraduate and graduate) are active collaborators on projects in the SVEA lab and are often given the opportunity to present their research at local, regional, and national conferences.

NOTE: If you are a current undergraduate student, potential graduate student, or faculty member/community partner interested in collaborating on research or hearing about the many exciting things that are going on in our lab, please email Dr. Asberg at kasberg@wcu.edu


Undergraduate Courses:
Adolescent Development (PSY 322)*
Abnormal Psychology (PSY 470)*
Independent Study (280/480)

*Includes a Service Learning component of 10 to 15 hours minimum (total for the semester). Honors contract options available.

Previous Teaching Experience: Child Psychopathology, General Psychology, Introduction to Clinical  Psychology, Contemporary Behavior Therapy

Graduate Courses:
Introduction to Evidence-Based Treatment (PSY 672)
Cognitive and  Behavioral Interventions (PSY 675)
Independent Study (PSY 680)
Pre-thesis (PSY 599) and Thesis (PSY 686)
Practicum Supervision (PSY 699)


  • Stress and resilience, developmental trajectories and functioning following traumatic events; coping
  • Impact of child maltreatment and exposure to violence (including combat related trauma); post-traumatic growth; attachment
  • Traditional (e.g., depression, PTSD, substance use) and non-traditional (e.g., incarceration) indicators of adjustment
  • Empirically based interventions with veterans and underserved populations (e.g., female inmates, rural populations)


  1. Risk Factors for Re-abuse: A Study of Child Protective Services in Haywood County, NC
  2. Re-victimization Among Women Who Are Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)
  3. Personality, Stress Reactivity, and Psychopathology in Substance Using Veterans
  4. Coercive Sexual Experiences, Substance Use, and Psychological Adjustment
  5. Anxiety, Trauma, & Attentional Threat Bias (Karen Shebuski, Thesis)
  6. Psychopathy, Personality, Disinhibition, & Substance Use (Kristen Kemp, Thesis)
  7. Parenting Influences on Adolescent Risky Behavior (Mary Moussa, Thesis)
  8. Stressful Life Events, Cognitive Emotion Regulation, & Depression (Gabby Weierbach, 680)


*denotes student author

Bailey, A. L., Makela, E. H., & Asberg, K. (In Press). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor/serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor use as a predictor of restless legs syndrome diagnosis. Accepted for publication in Journal of Psychiatric Practice, August 2015.   

*Solomon, D., *McAbee, J., Asberg, K., & *McGee, A. (November, 2015). Coming out and the potential for growth in sexual Minorities: The role of social reactions and internalized homonegativity. Journal of Homosexuality, 62(11), 1512-1538. [Online first version published in July, 2015].

Bobadilla, L., Asberg, K., Johnson, M. M., & Shirtcliff, E. (September, 2015). Experiences in the military may impact dual-axis neuroendocrine processes in veterans. Developmental Psychobiology, Special Issue: A Dual-Axis Approach to Understanding Neuroendocrine Development, 57(6), 719-730. [Online first version published October, 2014].

Asberg, K., & Renk, K. Safer in Jail? (April, 2015). A comparison of victimization history and psychological adjustment between previously homeless and non-homeless incarcerated women. Feminist Criminology, 10(2), 165-18. [Online first version published in July, 2014].

*Solomon, D., *Morgan, B., Asberg, K., & McCord, D. (August, 2014). Treatment implications based on Child Abuse Potential Inventory and MMPI-2-RF scores: Are we missing an intervention opportunity? Children and Youth Services Review, 43, 153-159.

Asberg, K., & Renk, K. (January, 2014). Perceived social support and external locus of control as predictors of psychological adjustment among incarcerated females with or without a history of childhood maltreatment. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 58 (1), 59-84. [Online first version published in October, 2012]. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306624X12461477.

Asberg, K. (July, 2013). Hostility/anger as a mediator between college students’ emotion regulation abilities and symptoms of depression, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety. The Journal of Psychology, 147(5),1-22. (Accepted for publication July, 2012).  

Bobadilla, L., Vaske, J., & Asberg, K. (June, 2013). Dopamine receptor (D4) polymorphism is related to comorbidity between marijuana abuse and depression. Addictive Behaviors, 38, 2555-2562.  DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.05.014.

Asberg, K., & Renk, K. (March, 2013). Comparing incarcerated and college student women with a history of childhood sexual abuse: The role of abuse severity, support, and substance use. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 5(2), 167-175. [Note: Online first version published in February, 2012]. DOI: 10.1037/a0027162.

*Solomon, D., & Asberg, K. (September, 2012). Effectiveness of child protective services interventions as indicated by rates of recidivism. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 2311-2318. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.08.014

Westbrook, T. M., Ellett, A. J., & Asberg, K. (July, 2012). Predicting public child welfare employees’ intentions to remain employed with the child welfare organizational culture inventory. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 1214-1221. [Note: Online first version published in February, 2012]. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.02.010.

Asberg, K., & Renk, K. (May, 2012). Avoidance coping mediates the relationship between trauma symptoms and substance abuse among incarcerated females with a history of childhood sexual abuse: Implications for treatment. Substance Use and Misuse, 47(7), 799-808. [Note: Online first version published in April, 2012]. DOI: 10.3109/10826084.2012.66944

Asberg, K., & *Wagaman, A. (July, 2010). Emotion regulation abilities and perceived stress as predictors of negative body image and problematic eating behaviors in emerging adults. American Journal of Psychological Research, 6(1), 193-217.   

Asberg, K., Bowers, C., Renk, K., & McKinney, C. (December, 2008). A structural equation modeling approach to the study of stress and psychological adjustment in emerging adults. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 39(4), 481-501. [Note: Online first version published in May, 2008]. DOI: 10.1007/s10578-008-0102-0

Asberg, K., Vogel, J., & Bowers, C. A. (August, 2008). Exploring correlates and predictors of stress in parents of deaf children: Implications of perceived social support and mode of communication. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 17(4), 486-499. [Note: Online first version published in November, 2007]. DOI: 10.1007/s10826-007-9169-7

Marino, T., Negy, C., Hammonds, E., McKinney, C., & Asberg, K. (2007). Perceptions of ambiguously unpleasant interracial interactions: A structural equation modeling approach.  Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 141, 637-663.

Plant, A., Ericsson, K. A., Hill, L. & Asberg, K. (2005). Why study time does not predict grade point average across college students: Implications of deliberate practice for academic performance. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 30, 96-116.


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