Ming in San Diego in Spring 2015
  • Chair, Sociology Department
  • Professor, Sociology Department
  • Faculty Affiliate, Asian Studies Program
  • Faculty Affiliate, Huntsman Cancer Institute
  • Department Chair of Sociology
801-581-8041

Research Statement

I am a sociologist of health, migration and child development. My research centers on social determinants of health and welbeing throughout the life course and across settings.  I have been engaged in a multi-year project that examines associations between neighborhood built and social environmental attributes and physical activity and obesity in the United States. I also scrutinize 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 and school 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.

Research Keywords

  • Social demoraphy
  • Medical Sociology
  • Internal and international migration in the US and China
  • Children and adolescent development

Presentations

  • Wen M. 2016. “Positive youth development in China: The role of rural-to-urban migration” presentation given in the Department of Sociology, Brigham Young University . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 12/02/2016.
  • Wen M. 2016. “Living in skipped generation households and health and well-being among middle-aged and older adults in China: A nationwide study” Healthy and Resilient Aging Conference, University of Hawaii . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 09/14/2016.
  • Wen M. 2015. “Youth development in China: The role of rural-urban origin and residence” Keynote speech at the International Conference on Inequality and Sustainability in China and Asia jointly sponsored by The Asia Center, the Confucius Institute, and the Institute for Public and International Affairs, University of Utah . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 09/12/2015.
  • Yang Y & Wen M. 2015. “Parental satisfaction and health and life satisfaction among older adults in Linxi County, China: A mixed-method study” the Consortium for Research on China and Asia (CROCA) Forum, University of Utah on April 3 . Presentation, Presented, 04/03/2015.
  • Wen M, Fan JX & Kowaleski-Jones L. 2014. “Adolescent physical activity and spatial distance to parks in the United States” National Social Science Association Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada (April 14). Conference Paper, Presented, 04/14/2014.
  • Wen M. 2014. “Disparities in physical activity and obesity: The role of individual and neighborhood factors” keynote speech at a research retreat on minority health and health disparities jointly sponsored by University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska Medical Center. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 02/28/2014.
  • Parental migration, social support, and positive child development in rural China. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 03/27/2013.
  • Wen M & Kowaleski-Jones L. 2011. “Validity of self-reported adult height, weight and body mass index” American Sociological Association (ASA) Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, NV (August 22) . Conference Paper, Presented, 08/22/2011.
  • Wen M. 2011. “Disparities in Health Care Utilization in Shanghai, China: Do Gender and Migration Status Matter?" Shanghai Forum, Shanghai, China (May 26) . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 05/26/2011.
  • Wen M. 2011. “Depressive symptoms of migrant workers in Shenzhen and Shanghai: A comparative analysis” at the Mekong Conference on Challenges to Human Development, University of Utah on April 29. Presentation, Presented, 04/29/2011.
  • Wen M. 2011. “Racial/ethnic disparities in objectively measured obesity in the USA: The role of individual and neighborhood factors” Invited Speaker Series at the South Texas Border Health Disparities Center,, University of Texas, Pan American (April 15) . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/15/2011.
  • Wen M & Gu D. 2011. “Air pollution shortens life expectancy and health expectancy for older adults: The case of China” Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting in Washington DC. (April 1) . Conference Paper, Presented, 04/01/2011.
  • Wen M & Kowaleski-Jones L. 2011. “Racial and ethnic disparities in objective and subjective obesity: The role of individual and neighborhood characteristics” Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting in Washington DC. (March 31) . Conference Paper, Presented, 03/31/2011.
  • Wen M & Immigration Research Group. 2011. “Integration of the undocumented and documented in a new destination: Utah” at the IPIA Policy at the Podium Seminar Series, University of Utah on February 11. Presentation, Presented, 03/2011.
  • Wen M. 2011. “Neighborhood effects on health: A study of residential segregation and obesity” Sociology Seminar Speaker for the School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Arts, University of California, Merced (February 28) . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 02/28/2011.
  • Wen M. 2011. “Residential segregation and obesity among Latinos and non-Latinos in Utah” Huntsman Cancer Institute CCPS External Advisory Board Meeting (February 7). Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 02/07/2011.
  • Kowaleski-Jones L & Wen M. 2010. “Neighborhood socioeconomic status and built environment and obesity” American Sociological Association (ASA) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Conference Paper, Presented, 08/17/2010.
  • Wen M, Kowaleski-Jones L & Zhang XY. 2010. “Residential segregation and obesity in the United States: Findings from the 2003-2004 NHANES”American Sociological Association (ASA) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Conference Paper, Presented, 08/17/2010.
  • Wen M. 2010. “Neighborhood Built and Social Environment and Physical Activity and Weight Status” at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) GeoSWG Grand Rounds in Atlanta, Georgia. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 08/16/2010.
  • Wen M & Maloney T. 2010. “Residential segregation and Obesity among Latinos and Non-Latinos in Utah” ISA World Congress of Sociology in Gothenberg, Sweden. Conference Paper, Presented, 07/14/2010.
  • Wen M, Zhang XY & Holt J. 2010. “Spatial access to local public parks and neighborhood socio-demographic characteristics in the United States: An ecological analysis” The 9th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Social Sciences in Honolulu, Hawaii. Conference Paper, Presented, 06/02/2010.
  • Wen M. 2010. “Labor market outcomes of rural-to-urban migrants in Shanghai” at Shanghai Forum, Shanghai, China (May 30) . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 05/30/2010.
  • Zimmer Z, Wen M & Kaneda T. 2009. “A multi-level analysis of urban versus rural differences in functional status transition among older Chinese” REVES Meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark. Conference Paper, Presented, 05/2010.
    http://reves.site.ined.fr/en/previous_meetings/pre...
  • Wen M. 2010. “The effects of childhood, adulthood, and community socioeconomic status on healthy longevity among older people in China” Distinguished Lecture Series in the Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/19/2010.
  • Chang KC & Wen M. 2009. “Social capital and Work among China’s Rural-to-Urban Migrants” American Sociological Association (ASA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California. Conference Paper, Presented, 08/2009.
  • Wen M, Jin L & Kowaleski-Jones L. 2009. “Social capital and adolescent substance use” American Sociological Association (ASA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California. Conference Paper, Presented, 08/2009.
  • Wen M. 2009. "Neighborhood built and social environments and physical activity" at the National Institute of Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD, USA. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/2009.
  • Wen M. 2009. "Neighborhood effects on self-rated health, chronic conditions, and mental well-being among migrants in Shanghai, China" at Shanghai Forum, Shanghai, China. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 05/2009.
  • Wen M. 2009. “Participation in religious services and parental and child well-being: Findings from the National Survey of America’s Families” Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan. Conference Paper, Presented, 04/2009.
  • Wen M & Maloney T. 2009. “Neighborhood contexts and overweight and obesity among documented and undocumented immigrants in Utah” Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan. Poster, Presented, 04/2009.
  • Zimmer Z, Wen M & Kaneda T. 2009. “A multi-level analysis of urban versus rural differences in functional status transition among older Chinese” REVES Meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark. Conference Paper, Presented, 2009.

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Integration of the undocumented and documented in a new destination: Utah. PI: Officialy there is no PI but only co-PIs; but Ken Jameson is our leader. Russell Sage Foundation , 07/15/2008 - 09/15/2010. Total project budget to date: $238,401.00

Languages

  • English, fluent.
  • Mandarin Chinese, fluent.

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • China
  • Eastern Asia
  • United States of America

Publications

  • Hill TD, Trinh HN, Wen M & Hale L. 2016. “Perceived neighborhood safety and sleep quality: A global analysis of six countries” Sleep Medicine 18:56-60. Published, 12/18/2016.
  • Nguyen QC, Li D, Meng HW, Kath S, Nsoesie E, Li F & Wen M. 2016. “Building a national neighborhood dataset form geotagged twitter data for indictors of happiness, diet, and physical activity" Journal of Medical Internet Research 2(2):e158. Published, 09/22/2016.
  • Yang Y & Wen M. 2016. “Correlates of parental satisfaction: A study of later-life family relationships in China” International Journal of Population Studies 2(1). Published, 09/18/2016.
  • Wei DY, Xiao W, Wen M & Wei R. 2016. “Walkability, land use and physical activity” Sustainability 8:65. Published, 08/21/2016.
  • Lagisetty PA, Wen M, Choi H, Heister M, Kanaya AM & Kandula NR. 2016. “Neighborhood social cohesion and prevalence of hypertension and diabetes in a South Asian population” Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 18(6):1309-1316. Published, 07/21/2016.
  • Nguyen QC, Kath S, Li D, Li F, Meng HW, Li D, Smith KR, VanDerslice JA, Wen M & Li F. 2016. “Leveraging geotagged Twitter data to examine neighborhood happiness, diet, and physical activity” Applied Geography 73:77-88. Published, 07/18/2016.
  • Fan JX, Wen M & Kowaleski-Jones L. 2016. “Tract- and county-level income inequality and individual risk of obesity in the United States” Social Science & Research 55:75-82. Published, 03/31/2016.
  • Wen M & Li K. 2016. “Parental and sibling migration and high blood pressure among rural children in China” Journal of Biosocial Science 48(1):129-142. Published, 03/08/2016.
  • Wen M & Li K. 2015. “Parental and sibling migration and high blood pressure among rural children in China” Journal of Biosocial Science 8:1-14. Published, 12/01/2015.
  • Xu Y, Wen M & Wang F. 2015. "Multilevel built environment features and individual odds of overweight and obesity in Utah" Applied Geography 60:197-20. Published, 08/01/2015.
  • Wen M, Su S, Li X & Lin D. 2015. “Positive youth development and problem behavior among adolescents in rural China: The role of parental migration” Social Science & Medicine: 132:261-269. Published, 08/01/2015.
  • Yang Y & Wen M. 2015. “Psychological resilience and the onset of activity of daily living disability among older adults in China: A nationwide longitudinal analysis” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 70(3):470-480. Published, 08/01/2015.
  • Li K & Wen M. 2015. "Substance use, age at migration, and length of residence among adult immigrants in the United States" Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 17(1):156-64. Published, 07/01/2015.
  • Gu D, Zhu H & Wen M. 2015. “Neighborhood-health links: Differences between rural-to-urban migrants and natives in Shanghai” Demographic Research 33:499-524. Published, 03/31/2015.
  • Wen M & Su D. 2015. “Correlates of leisure-time physical activity participation among Latino children and adolescents with acanthosis nigricans” Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 17(5):1330-1336. Published, 02/01/2015.
  • Hill TD, Trinh HN, Wen M & Hale L, “Perceived neighborhood safety and sleep quality: A global analysis of six countries” Sleep Medicine. Published, 12/15/2014.
  • Fan JX, Wen M & Kowaleski-Jones L. 2014. "An ecological analysis of environmental correlates of active commuting in urban U.S." Health & Place. Published, 11/30/2014.
  • Xu Y, Wen M & Wang F. "Multilevel built environment features and individual odds of overweight and obesity in Utah" Applied Geography. Published, 11/10/2014.
  • Wen M. 2014. “Participation in religious services and parental and child well-being: Findings from the National Survey of America’s Families” Journal of Religion and Health 53(5):1539-61. Published, 10/08/2014.
  • Fan JX, Wen M & Kowaleski-Jones L. 2014. “Rural-urban differences in objective and subjective measures of physical activity: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2006” Preventing Chronic Disease. Published, 08/21/2014.
  • Fan JX, Wen M & Kowaleski-Jones L. "Sociodemographic and environmental correlates of active commuting in rural America" Journal of Rural Health. Published, 07/24/2014.
  • Wen M, Su S, Li X, Lin D. “Positive youth development and problem behavior among adolescents in rural China: The role of parental migration” Social Science & Medicine. Published, 07/23/2014.
  • Li K, Wen M & Henry KA. “Residential racial composition and black-white obesity risks: Differential effects of neighborhood social and built environment” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11(1):626-42. Published, 06/28/2014.
  • Yang Y & Wen M. "Psychological resilience and the onset of activity of daily living disability among older adults in China: A nationwide longitudinal analysis" Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Science Social Science. Published, 06/04/2014.
  • Wen M, Li L & Su D.Physical activity and mortality across racial and ethnic groups: A survival analysis” Journal of Physical Activity and Health 11:303-312. Published, 02/08/2014.
  • Wen M & Maloney T. “Neighborhood socioeconomic status and body mass disparities by race/ethnicity, immigrant status, and legal status: Evidence from the Utah Population Database” Economics and Human Biology:12:120-131. Published, 02/08/2014.
  • Wen M & Su D. "Correlates of leisure-time physical activity participation among Latino children and adolescents with acanthosis nigricans" Journal of Imirant and Minority Health. Published, 02/06/2014.
  • Wen M, Kowaleski-Jones L, & Fan J. “Ethnic-immigrant disparities in total body and abdominal obesity in the United States” American Journal of Health Behavior 37(6):807-818. Published, 06/2013.
  • Wen M, Zhang XY, Harris C, Holt J & Croft J. 2013. “Spatial access to local public parks and neighborhood socio-demographic characteristics in the United States: A nationwide ecological analysis” Annuals of Behavioral Medicine 45(1):18-27. Published, 02/01/2013.
  • Wen M & Kowaleski-Jones L. “The built environment and risk of obesity in the United States: Racial-ethnic disparities” Health & Place 18: 1314-1322. Published, 09/07/2012.
  • Wen M & Gu D. 2012. “Air pollution shortens life expectancy and health expectancies at old ages: The case of China” Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences 48: 153-181. Published, 02/25/2012.
    http://biomedgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/conten...
  • Wen M & Lin D. 2012. “Child well-being in rural China: Children left behind by their migrant parents and children of non-migrant families” Child Development 83(1):120-136. Published, 02/2012.
  • Wen M & Kowaleski-Jones L. 2012. “Gender and ethnic differences in validity of self-reported adult height, weight and body mass index” Ethnicity & Disease 22(1):72-78. Published, 01/2012.
  • Wen M & Gu D. 2011. “The effects of childhood, adulthood, and community socioeconomic status on healthy longevity among older people in China” Demography 48: 153-181. Published, 02/2011.
  • Wen M & Maloney T. 2011. “Latino residential isolation and the risk of obesity in Utah: The role of neighborhood socioeconomic, built-environmental, and cultural context” Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 13:1134–1141. Published, 02/2011.
  • Wen M, Fan J, Jin L & Wang G. 2010. “Neighborhood effects on self-rated health, chronic conditions, and mental well-being among migrants and native residents in Shanghai, China” Health & Place 16:452-460. Published, 07/2010.
  • Wen M, Fan J, Jin L & Wang G. 2010. “Neighborhood effects on self-rated health, chronic conditions, and mental well-being among migrants and native residents in Shanghai, China” Health & Place 16: 452–460. Published, 06/2010.
  • Zimmer Z, Wen M & Kaneda T. 2010. “A multi-level analysis of urban/rural and socioeconomic differences in functional status transition among older Chinese” Social Science & Medicine 71:559-567. Published, 06/2010.
  • Kandula NR, Wen M, Jacobs E & Lauderdale DS. 2009. “Smoking prevalence in Asian Americans: Does living in an Asian neighborhood matter?” American Journal of Public Health 99(5):885-892. Published, 06/2009.
  • Wen M & Zhang XY. 2009. “The contextual effects of the built and the social environment of urban neighborhoods on physical activity: A multilevel study in Chicago” American Journal of Health Promotion 23(4):247-254. Published, 2009.
  • Wen M & Wang G. 2009. “Personal, social, and ecological factors of loneliness and life satisfaction among rural-urban migrants in Shanghai, China” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 50(2): 155-182. Published, 2009.
  • Wen M, VanDuker H. & Olson L. 2009. “Social contexts of regular smoking in adolescence: Toward a multidimensional ecological model” Journal of Adolescence 32:671-692. Published, 2009.
  • Wen M, Lauderdale DS & Kandula N. 2009. “The ethnic neighborhoods in multi-ethnic America, 1990--2000: Ethnoburbs and a resurgence of ethnicity?” Social Forces 88(1):425-460. Published, 2009.
  • Wen M. 2009. “Research on neighborhood contexts and health” in Public Health: Evidence from Western Societies in the series of The Trends of Western Philosophy and Social Sciences edited by Dong. Beijing, China: Renmin University Press. Published, 2009.