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.

She is currently involved in pilot studies evaluating in-person and web-based brief interventions in employee assistance programs, DUI first-offender programs, and teen courts. She is currently leading a study evaluating a web-based intervention for military spouses concerned about their service member's drinking. Osilla 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

D'Amico, E. J., Feldstein Ewing, S. W., Engle, B., Hunter, S. B., Osilla, K. C., & Bryan, A., in press. "Group Motivational Interviewing with At-Risk Adolescents: Considerations for Conducting a Group Versus an Individual Approach," in Naar-King, S. & Suarez, M., Motivational Interviewing with Adolescents and Families, The Guilford Press

D'Amico, E. J., Osilla, K. C. & Stern, S. A., in press. "Prevention and Intervention in the School Setting," in Sher, K., The Oxford Handbook of Substance Use Disorders, Oxford University Press

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., Zellmer, S. P., Larimer, M. E., Neighbors, C., & Marlatt, G. A., "A Brief Intervention for At-Risk Drinking in an Employee Assistance Program," Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 69(1), 2008

Osilla, K. C., Pedersen, E. R., Gore, K. L., Trail, T., & Howard, S. S., "Study design to develop and pilot-test a web intervention for partners of military service members with alcohol misuse," Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 9, 2014

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


  • 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