Mitchel Karno, Ph.D.

ISAP Researchers' Profiles

Mitchell Karno, Ph.D.

Mitchell Karno,Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1997) is Research Psychologist in UCLA's Department of Psychiatry and is the Director of Alcohol Studies at ISAP. Dr. Karno's primary research areas include patient-treatment matching, mechanisms of behavior change for alcoholism, and screening for alcohol problems. Dr. Karno is currently Principal Investigator for the National Institutes of Health Career Development Award "Cognitive Neuroscience of Decision Making in Recovery from Alcoholism." He is Co-Principal Investigator for a clinical trial to examine a model of screening and brief intervention for risky substance use among patient in mental health treatment settings. Dr. Karno is also Principal Investigator of a study examining the neural correlates of a brief alcohol intervention's effects on reducing risky alcohol use. Dr. Karno currently serves on the editorial boards for the journals Addiction, Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, and Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Education and Training

  • University of California, San Diego, B.A., Psychology, 1991
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, M.A., Psychology, 1993
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, 1997
  • Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, Post-Doc, Alcohol Research, 1997-2000


  • Alcoholism treatment
  • Patient-treatment matching
  • Mechanisms of action of treatment

Contact Info

UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs
11075 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Selected Publications

  1. Magill M, Apodaca TR, Karno MP, Gaume J, Durst A, Walthers J, Stout RL, DiClemente C. (2016). Reliability and Validity of an Observational Measure of Client Decision-Making: The Client Language Assessment - Proximal/Distal (CLA-PD).  Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 63, 10-17.  PMID:26898715 
  2. Moore AA, Karno MP, Ray L, Ramírez K, Barenstein V, Portillo M, Rizo P, Borok J, Liao DH, Barron J, del Pino HE, Valenzuela A, Barry KL. (2016). Development and preliminary testing of a promotora-delivered, Spanish language, counseling intervention for heavy drinking among male, Latino day laborers. Journal of  Substance Abuse Treatment, 62, 96-101. PMCID: 26738641
  3. Bacio G, Moore AA, Karno MP, Ray L. (2014) Determinants of problem drinking and depression among Latino day laborers. Substance Use and Misuse, 49(8): 1039-48.  PMCID: 24779503
  4. Farabee D, McCann M, Brecht ML, Cousins S, Antonini VP, Lee AB, Karno M & Rawson R. (2013). An analysis of relapse prevention factors and their ability to predict sustained abstinence following treatment completion. The American Journal on Addictions.  22(3):206-11.  PMCID: 23617860
  5. Borok J, Galier P, Dinolfo M, Welgreen S, Hoffing M, Davis JW, Ramirez KD, Liao DH, Tang L, Karno M, Sacco P, Lin JC, Moore AA.  (2013). Why do older unhealthy drinkers decide to make changes or not in their alcohol consumption? Data from the Healthy Living as You Age study.  J Am Geriatr Soc, 61(8):1296-302.  PMCID: 23889690
  6. Karno M, Farabee D, Rawson R, Brecht ML. (2012) Patient reactance moderates the effectiveness of telephone aftercare for methamphetamine users.  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 73, 844-850. PMCID: 22846250
  7. Karno, M.P., Longabaugh, R., and Herbeck, D. (2010). What explains the relationship between the Therapist Structure X Patient Reactance interaction and drinking outcome?  An examination of potential mediators. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24, 600-607.  PMCID: 21038931
  8. Lin JC, Karno MP, Tang L, Barry KL, Blow FC, Davis JW, Ramirez KD, Welgreen S, Hoffing M, Moore AA.  (2010). Do health educator telephone calls reduce at-risk drinking among older adults in primary care? Journal of General Internal Medicine, 25(4), 334-9.  PMCID: 20101471
  9. Grella, C.E., Karno, M.P., Warda, U.S., Niv, N., and Moore, A.A. (2009). Perceptions of need and help received for alcohol or drug dependence in a national probability survey.  Psychiatric Services, 60, 1068-1074.  PMCID: 19648194
  10. Karno, M.P., Grella, C.E., Niv, N., Warda, U., & Moore, A.A. (2008). Do substance type and diagnosis make a difference? A study of remission from alcohol- versus drug-use disorders using the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 69(4), 491-495. PMCID: 18612563
  11. Karno, M.P. (2007). A case study of mediators of treatment effectiveness. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 31(10 supp), 33-39. PMID: 17880344
  12. Karno, M.P. & Longabaugh, R. (2007). Does matching matter? Examining matches and mismatches between patient attributes and therapy techniques in alcoholism treatment. Addiction, 102, 587-596. PMCID: 17309536
  13. Longabaugh, R., Donovan, D.M., Karno, M.P., McCrady, B.S., Morgenstern, J., & Tonigan, J.S. (2005). Active ingredients: How and why evidence-based alcohol behavioral treatment interventions work. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 29(2), 235-247. PMCID: 15714046
  14. Karno, M.P.& Longabaugh, R. (2005).  Less directiveness by therapists improves drinking outcomes of reactant clients in alcoholism treatment.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73(2), 262-267. PMCID: 15796633
  15. Karno, M.P. & Longabaugh, R. (2003).  Patient depressive symptoms and therapist focus on emotional material:  A new look at Project MATCH.  Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 64(5), 607-615. 65, 501-512. PMCID: 14572181 

Last updated - 05/11/2016

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