About me

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Hi! My name is Ningxin Wang. I am currently a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I earned my B.A. degree in Journalism from Renmin University of China, and afterward, I came to the U.S. for graduate study of communication.

I started out as a master’s student in communication in the U of I, with a broad interest in health communication. My college training of Journalism had led me to think focally about the effect of mass media on individuals’ health-related attitudes and behaviors. However, taking classes with professors from various sub-fields in- and out-side of communication, I started to rethink, with a more holistic view, about the multiple communication processes that individuals are engaged in daily, and more importantly, how the effects of communication would have stemmed from the interrelatedness/interaction of these processes. For instance, it is not only exposure to mass media, but also interpersonal communication and the interaction between media and interpersonal processes, that affect individuals’ health beliefs and behaviors.

Working with Dr. Jennifer Kam on several projects have brought my academic passion to a unique population – adolescents. By looking at the effects of parent-adolescent communication and friend-to-friend communication on adolescents’ substance use, I realized that interpersonal communication constitutes important conduits and contexts for the socialization of adolescents. Moreover, adolescents’ interpersonal communication may function as a moderator or mediator of the effects of media exposure.

Currently, my research interests primarily fall into two lines . First, I am interested in the effects of parent-adolescent communication and peer communication on adolescents’ risk-taking behaviors, health and developmental outcomes. Second, I would like to investigate the influence of new media and technologies on adolescents’ development, in particular, how adolescents’ involvement with technologies (e.g., social media, cellphone) would influence their interpersonal relationships, and how their use of new media may affect psychological well-being through interpersonal processes. In short, I am looking to investigate adolescents’ development from the perspective of a communication scholar.

You will find on this website more information about my research and teaching. Feel free to contact me if you have questions!