Kit Elam is an Assistant Professor in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Development at ASU. His program of research integrates genetic and family-based designs to study the emergence of child psychopathology within the family. He accomplishes this through two integrated lines of research. The first line of research in genetics has two main focuses, (1) developing innovative interdisciplinary genetic methods, in service of (2) examining novel forms of gene-environment interplay between children's genetic predispositions and family environments. The second line of research examines the role of negative family environments (interparental conflict, harsh parenting, parent substance use) in the development of child psychopathology. Using a combination of these approaches he is able to identify modifiable family processes within longitudinal pathways to psychopathology and substance use in childhood and adolescence. This research has the potential to inform and refine family-based interventions.
Professor Elam received his Ph.D. in 2010 from Southern Illinois University. He received post-doctoral training in genetic methods at the University of Otago, New Zealand and the University of Leicester, United Kingdom (2009-2013). He also received postdoctoral training in the Psychology Department at ASU (2013-2015). He joined the SSFD faculty in 2015.