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Zhiwen Xiao, Ph.D.

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Associate Professor

  • Office: Communications Bldg, Room #221 
  • Email:
  • Phone:  713-743-2243  

Dr. Zhiwen Xiao is an associate professor in health communication and a faculty affiliate of women’s studies at University of Houston. Dr. Zhiwen Xiao’s research area focuses primarily on health behavior change and health literacy. She explores how individual-level variables and social-level factors determine health literacy and health-related behaviors as well as how health communication programs influence such individual-level and social-level factors to promote desired health outcomes and behaviors. Her work has appeared in a number of peer-reviewed journals that include Journal of Health Communication, International Journal of Public Health, AIDS Patient Care and STDs, AIDS Care, AIDS Education and Prevention, Psychology, Health & Medicine and others.

Dr. Zhiwen Xiao has taught undergraduate courses, including Introduction to Communication Theory, Health Campaigns Principles, Multicultural Health Communication, and Health Literacy, and graduate courses such as Research Methods, Health Communication Theory and Research, and Health Campaigns.


  • Ph.D. in Health Communication, University of Kentucky, USA
  • Master in Mass Communication, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA
  • Bachelor in English, Wuhan University, China

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Research Interest

  • 2011 Fall Grant-in-AID to Start New Research grant, CLASS
  • New Faculty Research Fund, University of Houston (2008-2009) 

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Selected Publications

  • Xiao, Z., Li, X., Qiao, S., Zhou, Y., Shen, Z. (in press). Coping, Social Support, Stigma, and Gender Difference among People Living with HIV in Guangxi, China. 23(1):18-29. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2017.1300671. Epub 2017 Mar 7.
  • Xiao, Z.W., Li, X., Qiao, S., Zhou, Y., Shen, Z. (2017). Social support, depression and quality of life among people living with HIV in Guangxi, China. AIDS Care, 29 ( 3), 319-325.
  • Xiao, Z. (2015). Investigating the Role of Individual Characteristics, Interpersonal Sexual Communication, Media Exposure, and Gender Differences on Condom Use among Chinese college Students in Hunan. International Journal of Sexual Health, 27(4), 442-456, DOI:10.1080/19317611.2015.1038676.
  • Xiao, Z., Li, X., Qiao, S. et al. (2015). Using Communication Privacy Management Theory to Examine HIV Disclosure to Sexual Partners/Spouses among PLHIV in Guangxi. AIDS Care, 27(S1), 73-82.
  • Xiao, Z., Li, X., Lin, D., & Tam, G. (2015). Mass Media and HIV/AIDS Prevention among Female Sex Workers in Beijing, China. Journal of Health Communication, 20(9), 1095-106. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2015.1018575.
  • Xiao, Z., Noar, S., Zeng, L. (2014). Systematic Review of HIV Prevention Interventions in China: A Health Communication Perspective. International Journal of Public Health, 59(1), 123-142. DOI:10.1007/s00038-013-0467-0.
  • Zeng, L., Agwaziam, N. & Xiao, Z. (2014). Framing the Jos Crisis in Nigeria: A Comparative Analysis of the Punch, the Guardian and Thisday. International Communication Research Journal, 49(1-2), 2-21.
  • Xiao, Z., Li, X., Lin, D., Jiang, S., Liu, Y., & Li, S. (2013). Sexual Communication, Safer Sex Self-Efficacy and Condom Use among Young Chinese Migrants in Beijing, China. AIDS Education & Prevention, 25(6), 480-494.
  • Xiao, Z., & Li, X., Liu, Y., Li, S., & Jiang, S. (2013). Sexual Communication and Condom Use among Chinese MSM in Beijing. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 18(1), 98-106.
  • Xiao, Z., Li, X., Mehrotra, P. (2012). HIV/Sexual Risk Reduction Interventions in China: A Meta-Analysis. AIDS Patient Care and STDS, 26(10), 597-613.
  • Xiao, Z. (2012). Psychosocial correlates of premarital sex among Chinese college students. International Journal of Sexual Health, 24(4), 318-328.
  • Xiao, Z. (2012). Correlates of Condom Use among Chinese College Students in Hunan Province. AIDS Education and Prevention, 24(5), 469-482.
  • Xiao, Z., Mehrotra, P., & Zimmerman, R. (2011). Sexual Revolution in China: Implications for Chinese women and society. AIDS Care, Jun2011 Supplement, 23,105-12.
  • Xiao, Z., Li, X., & Stanton, B. (2011). Perceptions of Parent-Adolescent Communication within Families: It’s a Matter of Perspective. Psychology, Health, & Medicine, 16(1), 53-65. One of the ten most downloaded Psychology, Health and Medicine articles in the year 2011.
  • Xiao, Z., Palmgreen, P., Zimmerman, R., & Noar, S. (2010). Adapting and Applying a Multiple Domain Model of Condom Use to Chinese College Students. AIDS Care, 22(3), 332-338
  • Xiao, Z. (2008). Sensation seeking and impulsivity: The direct and indirect effects on adolescent marijuana use. Journal of Substance Use, 13(6), 415-433.
  • Stone, G., & Xiao, Z.W. (2007). Anointing a new enemy: The rise of anti-China coverage after the U.S.S.R.'s demise. The International Communication Gazette, 69(1), 91-108.

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Professional Activities

  • Zeng, L., & Xiao, Z. (2011). Changing News Frames as a Pandemic Develops: Coverage of the 2009 H1N1 Flu in the Washington Post, presented at the annual AEJMC Conference in St. Louis, MO.
  • Xiao, Z., & Noar, S. (2011). A Systematic Review of HIV Prevention Interventions in China. Presented at the 61st Annual Conference at International Communication Association, May 2011, Boston.
  • Xiao, Z.W. (2010). “Sexual Initiation among Chinese College Students: The Role of Intrapersonal and Social Factors,” presented at International Communication Association, June 2010, Singapore.
  • Xiao, Z. W. (2008). “Adapting and applying a Western-developed model of condom use to Chinese college students,” presented at International Communication Association, May 2008, Canada.
  • Mehrotra, P., & Xiao, Z.W. (2008). Gender and personality factors as moderators in theory of planned behavior to test condom use intention: Implication for message design. Paper presented at the 94th NCA, San Diego, CA.


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  • 2011 FDIP award, University of Houston
  • 2011 QEP award, University of Houston
  • Kentucky Opportunity Fellowship (2006-2007)
  • Dissertation Enhancement Award (2006-2007), University of Kentucky


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