Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine
Director, National Center for Research of the Addiction Medicine Foundation

MEMPHIS TN 381632181
Tel: (901) 448-2526


  • PostDoc, University of Kentucky, Psychology/Behavioral Science
  • Other, Florida International University, Internship
  • Ph.D., University of Kentucky, Clinical Psychology
  • M.S., University of Kentucky, Clinical Psychology

Research Description

Dr. Derefinko has designed, executed, and managed several research protocols that explore the contributions of personality and other proximal mechanisms to substance use and other externalizing outcomes in adults and children. In addition, Dr. Derefinko has written two treatment manuals and completed several treatment outcome studies. She received her pre-doctoral training through the University of Kentucky where she also served as a project manager for a longitudinal study conducted through the Center for Drug Abuse Research Translation (CDART), a center funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She received additional training in treatment outcome research through her experience at the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University. She is now utilizing these experiences to begin developing tailored interventions based upon her work with the correlates of externalizing behavior.

Research Keywords

Antisocial behavior; substance use; delinquency; criminal activity; personality; cognitive/behavioral interventions; translational research

Research Interest/Specialty

Dr. Derefinko''s primary research activities are aimed at understanding externalizing behaviors and conduct problems, including substance use, violence, and risky sexual practices in young adults and adolescents.


  1. Sibley MH, Graziano PA, Kuriyan AB, Coxe S, Pelham WE, Rodriguez L, Sanchez F, Derefinko K, Helseth S, Ward A. Parent-Teen Behavior Therapy + Motivational Interviewing for Adolescents with ADHD. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
  2. Little MA, Bursac Z, Derefinko, KJ, Ebbert JO, Talcott, GW, Klesges, RC. Types of Dual and Poly Tobacco Users in the United States Military. American Journal of Epidemiology.
  3. Lee CA, Derefinko KJ, Milich R, Lynam DR, DeWall CN. Longitudinal and reciprocal relations between delay discounting and crime. Personality and Individual Differences.
  4. Little MA, Pokhrel P, Sussman S, Derekinko KJ, Bursac Z, Rohrbach LA. Factors associated with the use of adolescent tobacco cessation programs in schools. Journal of Smoking Cessation.
  5. Li, T, Waters, TM, Kaplan, EK, Kaplan, CM, Nyarko, KA, Derefinko, KJ, Talcott, GW, Klesges, RC. Economic Analyses of an Alcohol Misconduct Prevention Program in a Military Setting. Mil Med, 182 (1), e1562-e1567, 2017.
  6. Derefinko, KJ, Charnigo, RJ, Peters, JR, Adams, ZW, Milich, R, Lynam, DR. Substance Use Trajectories From Early Adolescence Through the Transition to College. J Stud Alcohol Drugs, 77 (6), 924-935, 2016.
  7. Peters, JR, Derefinko, KJ, Lynam, DR. Negative Urgency Accounts for the Association Between Borderline Personality Features and Intimate Partner Violence in Young Men. J Pers Disord, 1-10, 2016.
  8. Derefinko KJ, Eisenlohr-Moul TA, Peters JR, Roberts W, Walsh EC, Milich R, Lynam DR. Physiological Response to Reward and Extinction Predicts Alcohol, Marijuana, and Cigarette Use Two Years Later. Drug and Alc ohol Dependence, 2016.
  9. Derefinko KJ, Klesges RC, Bursac Z, Little M, Hryshko-Mullen AS, & Talcott GW. Alcohol Issues Prior to Training in the United States Air Force. Addictive Behaviors, 2016.
  10. Chester, DS, DeWall, CN, Derefinko, KJ, Estus, S, Lynam, DR, Peters, JR, Jiang, Y. Looking for reward in all the wrong places: dopamine receptor gene polymorphisms indirectly affect aggression through sensation-seeking. Soc Neurosci, 1-8, 2015.
  11. Little, MA, Derefinko, KJ, Colvin, L, Ebbert, JO, Bursac, Z, Talcott, GW, Richey, PA, Klesges, RC. The Prevalence of E-cigarette Use in a Sample of U.S. Air Force Recruits. Am J Prev Med, 49 (3), 402-8, 2015.
  12. Chester, DS, DeWall, CN, Derefinko, KJ, Estus, S, Peters, JR, Lynam, DR, Jiang, Y. Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) genotype predicts greater aggression through impulsive reactivity to negative affect. Behav Brain Res, 283, 97-101, 2015.
  13. Little, MA, Derefinko, KJ, Bursac, Z, Ebbert, JO, Colvin, L, Talcott, GW, Hryshko-Mullen, AS, Richey, PA, Klesges, RC. Prevalence and Correlates of Tobacco and Nicotine Containing Product Use in a Sample of United States Air Force Trainees. Nicotine Tob Res, 2015.
  14. Graziano, PA, Bagner, DM, Slavec, J, Hungerford, G, Kent, K, Babinski, D, Derefinko, K, Pasalich, D. Feasibility of intensive parent-child interaction therapy (I-PCIT): Results from an open trial. J Psychopathol Behav Assess, 37 (1), 38-49, 2015.
  15. Derefinko, KJ, Hayden, A, Sibley, MH, Duvall, J, Milich, R, Lorch, EP. A Story Mapping Intervention to Improve Narrative Comprehension Deficits in Adolescents with ADHD. School Ment Health, 6 (4), 251-263, 2014.
  16. Derefinko, KJ, Peters, JR, Eisenlohr-Moul, TA, Walsh, EC, Adams, ZW, Lynam, DR. Relations between trait impulsivity, behavioral impulsivity, physiological arousal, and risky sexual behavior among young men. Arch Sex Behav, 43 (6), 1149-58, 2014.
  17. Derefinko, KJ. Psychopathy and Low Anxiety: Meta-Analytic Evidence for the Absence of Inhibition, Not Affect. J Pers, 2014.
  18. Graziano, P, Derefinko, K. Cardiac vagal control and children's adaptive functioning: a meta-analysis. Biol Psychol, 94 (1), 22-37, 2013.
  19. Sibley, MH, Pelham, WE, Molina, BS, Gnagy, EM, Waxmonsky, JG, Waschbusch, DA, Derefinko, KJ, Wymbs, BT, Garefino, AC, Babinski, DE, Kuriyan, AB. When diagnosing ADHD in young adults emphasize informant reports, DSM items, and impairment. J Consult Clin Psychol, 80 (6), 1052-61, 2012.
  20. Babinski, DE, Pelham, WE, Molina, BS, Gnagy, EM, Waschbusch, DA, Wymbs, BT, Sibley, MH, Derefinko, KJ, Kuriyan, AB. Maternal ADHD, Parenting, and Psychopathology Among Mothers of Adolescents With ADHD. J Atten Disord, 2012.
  21. Miller, DJ, Derefinko, KJ, Lynam, DR, Milich, R, Fillmore, MT. Impulsivity and Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder: Subtype Classification Using the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale. J Psychopathol Behav Assess, 32 (3), 323-332, 2010.
  22. Derefinko, K, DeWall, CN, Metze, AV, Walsh, EC, Lynam, DR. Do different facets of impulsivity predict different types of aggression. Aggress Behav, 37 (3), 223-33, 2010.
  23. Gudonis, LC, Derefinko, K, Giancola, PR. The treatment of substance misuse in psychopathic individuals: why heterogeneity matters. Subst Use Misuse, 44 (9-10), 1415-33, 2009.
  24. Huss, D, Derefinko, K, Milich, R, Farzam, F, Baumann, R. Examining the stress response and recovery among children with migraine. J Pediatr Psychol, 34 (7), 707-15, 2009.
  25. Adams, ZW, Derefinko, KJ, Milich, R, Fillmore, MT. Inhibitory functioning across ADHD subtypes: recent findings, clinical implications, and future directions. Dev Disabil Res Rev, 14 (4), 268-75, 2008.
  26. Derefinko, KJ, Adams, ZW, Milich, R, Fillmore, MT, Lorch, EP, Lynam, DR. Response style differences in the inattentive and combined subtypes of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Abnorm Child Psychol, 36 (5), 745-58, 2008.
  27. Derefinko, KJ, Lynam, DR. Using the FFM to conceptualize psychopathy: a test using a drug abusing sample. J Pers Disord, 21 (6), 638-56, 2007.
  28. Lynam, DR, Derefinko, KJ, Caspi, A, Loeber, R, Stouthamer-Loeber, M. The content validity of juvenile psychopathy: an empirical examination. Psychol Assess, 19 (3), 363-7, 2007.
  29. Derefinko, KJ, Lynam, DR. Convergence and divergence among self-report psychopathy measures: a personality-based approach. J Pers Disord, 20 (3), 261-80, 2006.