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V. Elizabeth King

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Human Development and Family Science

Graduate Research Assistant

Elizabeth is a doctoral student with a history of work in multidisciplinary investigative, trauma-exposed team settings.


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
Master of Education Child Studies (Psychology & Human Development) Vanderbilt University 2020
Graduate Certificates Poverty & Intervention; Latino & Latina Studies Vanderbilt University 2020
Bachelor of Arts Sociology/Anthropology with a minor in Education Studies Middlebury College 2013.5


Elizabeth brings her experience working in the child welfare and Child Advocacy Center fields as a child forensic interviewer and multidisciplinary investigative team facilitator to her research perspectives. She is broadly interested in (a) the social-ecological etiology of childhood trauma in historically marginalized populations; (b) the potential of national and organizational policy to impact development, health, and safety throughout the lifespan; and (c) the development and application of transdisciplinary frameworks for defining and intervening in sensitive contemporary issues of childhood. Elizabeth's primary research interest is the application of child investigative interviewing and applied memory research to accounts of traumatic and/or violent events in domestic and international contexts (e.g., "credible fear" interviews; human rights violations; investigation of atrocity crimes). 

Currently, Elizabeth works under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth Wieling on projects related to developing ecologically responsive multi-component systemic interventions for populations exposed to mass traumas. This research is being conducted primarily with immigrant and refugee communities in the U.S. and in low-income post-conflict settings internationally. Elizabeth is also engaged in her own scholarship to (a) define current knowledge of Latin American adolescent refugees' experiences of trauma; (b) to define and assess the developmental and cultural appropriateness of current practices in interviewing asylum-seeking children at the US border; and (c) understand the role of traumatic stress knowledge in child forensic interviewer practices in North America.

Prior Professional Positions

Organization Title Years of Service
Vanderbilt University Graduate Research & Evaluation Assistant (Human & Organizational Development; Teaching & Learning) 2
YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee Domestic Violence Specialist 1
Randolph-Tucker Children's Advocacy Center Multidisciplinary Investigative Team Coordinator & Lead Forensic Interviewer; Clinical Supervisor of Forensic Interviewers 5
Ripton Elementary School Student Teacher 1
Middlebury College Research Assistant, Tutor, Monitor, and Academic Coordinator (English & American Literature; Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies; Women's Resource Center; Queer Studies House) 4


Award Name Awarded By Year Awarded
FACS Funds for Excellence Scholarship University of Georgia 2021
Graduate School Research Assistantship University of Georgia 2020-2024
Dean's Academic Tuition Scholarship Vanderbilt University 2018-2020
West Virginia's "Forty Under Forty" The State Journal & West Virginia Child Advocacy Network 2018
Student Leadership Award Nominee Middlebury College 2013
Feminist of the Year Middlebury College 2011

Areas of Expertise

child and family trauma; immigration (discplacement & refugees); forensic and investigative interviewing

Professional Affiliations

  • American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (2018 to present)
  • Society for Community Research and Action (Immigrant Justice Group; 2018 to present)
  • American Psychological Association (2019 to present)
  • Society for Research in Child Development (Latinx Caucus; 2020 to present)

Journal Articles

  • Buckingham, S.L., Langhout, R.D., Rusch, D., Mehta, T., Chávez, N.R., Ferreira van Leer, K., Oberoi, A., Indart, M., Paloma, V., King, V.E., & Olson, B. (2021). The roles of settings in supporting immigrants’ resistance to injustice and oppression: A policy position statement by the Society for Community Research and Action. American Journal of Community Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajcp.12515 Online open access prior to print issue here.


  • King, V.E. (2017, April). Forensic Interviewing: So, uh, what exactly do you do? Retrieved from https://wvcan.org/forensic-interviewing/.

Conference Presentations

  • Leyva, L.A., McNeill, T., King, V.E., & Marshall, B.L. (2021, April 11-13). "I Really Avoid Any Way of Being Seen as a Sexual Being to My Peers": Embodied Oppressions and Agency among Queer Women of Color in Undergraduate STEM [Conference presentation]. American Education Research Association Conference, Orlando, FL, United States. (online)
  • Leyva, L.A, McNeill, T., Balmer, B.R., Marshall, B.L., King, V.E., & Alley, Z. (2021, April 11-13). A Counterstorytelling of Black Queer Students’ Experiences of Queer of Color Invisibility in Undergraduate STEM as a White, Cisheteropatriarchal Space [Conference presentation]. American Education Research Association Conference, Orlando, FL, United States. (online)
  • Ellis, E., King, V.E., & Trejo, A. (2021, June 24-26) The Intersection of Detention, Traumatic Stress & Suicide: A Review of the Literature and Implications for Policy [Conference presentation]. American Family Therapy Academy Conference. (online)
  • King, V.E. (2021, July 4-5). “The Burnt Hand Teaches Most About Fire”: Applying Traumatic Stress and Ecological Frameworks to Narratives of Displacement and Resettlement Across Cultures in Tolkien’s Middle-earth [Conference presentation]. The Tolkien Society Summer Seminar, Oxford, England. (online) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj4N_cyKTDI

Upcoming Presentations

  • Buckingham, S.L., Ferreira van Leer, K.; Oberoi, A.; Olson, B.; Rusch, D.; King, V.E.; Indart, M.; Chávez, N.R.; Mehta, T. (2021, August 12-14). Giving Psychology Away: Considering Tensions in Public Interest Policy Advocacy [Conference panel]. American Psychological Association Annual Meeting 2021. (online)
  • King, V.E. (2021, November 2-5). Latin American Immigrant Youth's Traumatic Exposure Across Social Ecological Levels and Migration Stages: A Systematic Review of the Literature [Poster session]. International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 37th Annual Meeting. (online) 
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