Karen Chan Osilla

Photo of Karen Osilla
Senior Behavioral Scientist; Faculty Member, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in clinical psychology, University of Washington; B.S. in psychology, University of California, San Diego

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Karen Chan Osilla is a senior behavioral scientist and clinical psychologist at the RAND Corporation and a member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. She has substantial experience in the area of developing, implementing, evaluating, and disseminating in-person and web-based brief interventions that utilize motivational interviewing and target addictive behaviors.

Osilla has led randomized controlled trials evaluating in-person and web-based brief interventions in employee assistance programs and DUI programs. She also has expertise developing and evaluating interventions for significant others affected by substance use including Partners Connect, a web-program for military spouses and caregivers concerned about their service member's drinking. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Washington.

Recent Projects

  • Delivering Treatment in DUI Programs to Reduce Alcohol-Related Disparities
  • Web Intervention for Concerned Partners to Prevent Service Member Alcohol Abuse
  • Enhancing Housing First Programs with a Social Network Substance Use Intervention
  • Integrated Collaborative Care for Substance Use Disorders

Selected Publications

Osilla, K. C., Paddock, S., Leininger, T. J., D’Amico, E. J., Ewing, B. A., & Watkins, K. E., "A pilot study comparing in-person and web-based motivational interviewing among adults with a first-time DUI offense," Addiction Science and Clinical Practice, 10, 2015

Osilla, K. C., Hepner, K. A., Muñoz, R. F., Woo, S., & Watkins, K. E., "Developing an Integrated Treatment for Substance Use and Depression Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 37(4), 2009

Osilla, K.C., Ortiz, J.A., Miles, J.N., Pedersen, E.R., Houck, J.M., & D’Amico, E.J., "How group factors affect adolescent change talk and substance use outcomes: Implications for motivational interviewing training," Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62(1), 2015

Osilla, K. C., Pedersen, E. R., Ewing, B. A., Miles, J. N. V., Ramchand, R., & D'Amico, E. J., "The effects of purchasing alcohol and marijuana among adolescents at-risk for future substance use," Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy, 9, 2014

Osilla, K. C., Watkins, K. E., D’Amico, E. J., McCullough, C. M., & Ober, A. J., "Effects of motivational interviewing fidelity on substance use treatment engagement in primary care," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 87, 2018

Smart, R., Osilla, K. C., Jonsson, L., & Paddock, S. M., "Differences in alcohol cognitions, consumption, and consequences among first-time DUI offenders who co-use alcohol and marijuana," Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 191, 2018

, "Efficacy of a Web‐based Intervention for Concerned Spouses of Service Members and Veterans with Alcohol Misuse," Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, (44), 2018

Osilla, K. C., Kulesza, M., Miranda, J., " Bringing alcohol treatment to driving under the influence programs: Perceptions from first-time offender," Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, (35), 2018


  • Young man drinking vodka

    Tools for Coping with a Military Spouse's Drinking

    A new research study and web program, Partners Connect, was launched in September to help military spouses concerned about a loved one's drinking.

    Oct 5, 2015 SpouseBUZZ

  • young woman smoking and drinking coffee

    Teen Employment May Not Always Be a Boon for At-Risk Youth

    For all teens, and especially those who have already experienced problems related to alcohol and drug use, it is essential to monitor the quality of work experiences and keep in mind that some work environments might increase risk for substance use.

    Dec 18, 2012