MING WEN portrait
  • Chair, Sociology Department
  • Professor, Sociology Department
  • Faculty Affiliate, Asian Studies Program
  • Faculty Affiliate, Huntsman Cancer Institute
  • Department Chair of Sociology


  • B.S., Information Science, Peking University
  • M.S., Statistics, University of Chicago
  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Chicago


My research centers on social determinants of health and wellbeing throughout the life course in the United States and China.  I have been engaged in a multi-year project that examines associations between neighborhood built and social environmental features and individual-level physical activity participation and the odds of obesity in the United States. I also explore disparities in energy balance outcomes by race, ethnicity, immigrant, and legal status and the mediating factors underlying these disparities. My research in China focuses on the effects of socioeconomic status, social relationships, and internal migration on a range of health and well-being outcomes in various age groups. I have also published on family, school and neighborhood contexts of child development in both China and the United States. Most of my research has been supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health or private foundations.

My articles have appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as American Journal of Health Promotion, American Journal of Health Behavior, American Journal of Public Health, Annuals of Behavioral Medicine, Asian Population Studies, Cancer, Child Development, Demography, Ethnicity & Disease, Ethnicity & Health, Health, Health & Place, Health Services Research, Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Journal of Religion & Health, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Medical Care, Social Science & Medicine, Social Forces, Sociology of Health and Illness, and Urban Studies, among others. My works have been featured or cited in Health Behavior News Service, New York Magazine, New York Times, Science Daily, Shape Magazine, and HealthDay News.