Department of Media and Communication Center for Communication Research

Health Research Cluster

Group members:
Dr Stella CHIA
Dr Li Crystal JIANG
Dr Guanxiong HUANG
Dr Ji Won KIM
Dr Ki Joon KIM


mHealth, interface design for health, health promotion and intervention, social norms in health, psychosocial approach, gendered media and health, health information seeking

Research Interests:

It is well-recognized that health communication is of pivotal importance for enhancing human health. Taking a psychosocial perspective, we approach health communication by focusing on psychological and social processes that inform individual and community health decisions using a variety of quantitative research methods (experiment, survey, content analysis and computational methods).

Our Research Areas:

  • The uses and effects of mobile technologies on health

    The ubiquitous mobile services provide great potential for health enhancement. In this line of research, we try to associate the use of mHealth devices and applications with health outcomes and uncover the mechanisms underlying the effects of mHealth through theoretical lenses.

  • Campaign and message design for health promotion & disease prevention

    We work to apply the principles and techniques of strategic communication in health communication design. While heavily replying on persuasion strategies, we also acknowledge a variety of socio-cultural influences such as social networks, social norms and culture values.

  • Interface design of health communication products and services

    Nowadays health information is communicated through a variety of channels and platforms. This line of research focuses targeting and segmenting vulnerable groups, increasing visibility and readability of scientifically valid information in interactive platforms, and incorporating literacy devices in specific contexts.

  • Gendered media and health effects on females

    Both mass media and social media play critical roles in portraying female images and ideals. We link media stereotypes and other gendered coverage to females’ health beliefs and behaviors. Common themes include body images and eating disorders, social norms and sexual behaviors, and gender roles.

Key Publications:

Huang, G., & Ren, Y. (2020). Linking technological functions of fitness mobile apps with continuance usage among Chinese users: Moderating role of exercise self-efficacy. Computers in Human Behavior, 103, 151-160.

Huang, G., & Zhou, E. (2019). Time to work out! Examining the behavior change techniques and relevant theoretical mechanisms that predict the popularity of fitness mobile apps with Chinese-language user interfaces. Health Communication, 34(12), 1502-1512.

Kim, J. W. (2018). Facebook use for profile maintenance and social grooming and young Korean women’s appearance comparison with peers and body image concerns. Social Media + Society, 4(2), 1–11. 

Kim, J. W. (2018). They liked and shared: Effects of social media virality metrics on perceptions of message influence and behavioral intentions. Computers in Human Behavior, 84, 153–161. 

Kim, K. J., Shin, D., & Yoon, H. (2017). Information tailoring and framing in wearable health communication. Information Processing & Management, 53(2), 351-358. 

Jiang, L. C., Yang, M., & Wang, C. (2016). Disclosures to parents in emerging adulthood: Examining the role of separation-individuation in parent-child relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. doi: 10.1177/0265407516640603

Jiang, L. C., Wang, Z. Z., Peng, T. Q., & Zhu, J. J. H. (2015). The divided communities of shared concerns: Mapping the intellectual structure of e-Health research in social science journals. International Journal of Medical Informatics.  doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2014.09.00. 

Kim, K. J., Park, E., & Sundar, S. S. (2013). Caregiving role in human–robot interaction: A study of the mediating effects of perceived benefit and social presence. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), 1799-1806.

Chia, S. C. & Wen, N. (2010). College men’s third-person perceptions about idealized body image and consequent behavior. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 63, No.6-7, 542-555. 

Chia, S. C. (2006). How peers mediate media influence on adolescents’ sexual attitudes and sexual behavior. Journal of Communication, 56, 3, 585-606.