Yangsun Hong

Associate Professor
Ph.D. Program Director

Photo: Yangsun Hong


Room 202

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2018


Dr. Yangsun “Sun” Hong is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism and the combined B.A./M.D. degree program. She is a communication scientist who studies health communication and political communication through a critical lens with quantitative methods. She is a founder and director of C&J’s Digital Media and Communication for Health & Politics Research Group (https://cjdept.unm.edu/research/research-groups/dmc.html). She received her Ph.D. in Mass Communications with Ph.D. minors in Sociology (concentration: Intersectionality) and Educational Psychology (concentration: Advanced statistics) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Areas of Expertise

Health communication; Social determinants of health; Communication inequality; Media and social influence; Perception of media influence; Political participation; Social media.


Dr. Hong situates the relationship between one’s social positions and communication experience at the center of health communication and political communication. With intersectionality as an analytical framework - which highlights how multiple disadvantaged positions mutually construct social experiences -, her research focus on understanding socially situated nature of communication and the influence on individual attributes and behavior. She develops two complementary lines of research with emphasis on the roles of communication in health and social-political wellbeing.  

How communication influence social and psychosocial determinants of health and social-political wellbeing?

  • How do intersectional positions shape communication opportunity and discussion networks? 
  • Does communication opportunity reinforce marginalization and inequality in health and social-political wellbeing (e.g., exposure to health innovation that spreads through social systems)? 

Then, how communication improve health and social-political wellbeing for minority groups? 

  • Can social media attenuate such marginalization and inequality by increasing communication opportunity for minority groups? 
  • How can mass communication influence social context, such as social norms and social stigmas, and thereby reshape community culture? 
  • Does the perception of media influence promote behavior (e.g., health prevention, communicative action, and political participation)?

Current Projects

Dr. Hong's current projects include (a) Studying biased perceptions of media effect and the influence, (b) Understanding communication as a social determinant of health for intersectionally marginalized groups, (c) Revealing interlocking systems of oppression against transgender groups, and (d) Social media, misinformation, and politicization of health issues.

Selected Publications

Hong, Yangsun & Hashimoto, M.* (2021, In press). I will get myself vaccinated for others: The interplay of message frame, reference point, and perceived risk on intention for COVID-19 vaccine. Health Communication. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2021.1978668

Hong, Yangsun (2021, In press). Extending the influence of presumed influence hypothesis: Information seeking and prosocial behaviors for HIV prevention. Health Communication. doi:10.1080/10410236.2021.1975902

Hong, Yangsun, Myung, E.* & Kim, S.* (2021, In press). The substituting relationship between presumed media influence and interpersonal health communication. Journal of Communication in Healthcare. doi:10.1080/17538068.2021.1954411

Hong, Yangsun & Kim, S.* (2020). Influence of presumed media influence for health prevention: How mass media indirectly promote health prevention behaviors through descriptive norms. Health Communication, 35 (14), doi:10.1080/10410236.2019.1663585

Barnidge, M., Gunther, A., Kim, J., Hong, Yangsun, Perryman, M., Tay, S. K., & Knisely, S. (2017). politically motivated selective exposure and perceived media bias. Communication Research. doi:10.1177/0093650217713066

Hong, Yangsun & Rojas, H. (2016). Agreeing not to disagree: Iterative vs. episodic forms of political participatory behaviors. International Journal of Communication, 10. doi:1932–8036/20160005

Hull, S. J., & Hong, Yangsun (2016). Sensation seeking as a moderator of gain- and loss- framed HIV test promotion message effects. Journal of Health Communication. 21(1). doi:10.1080/10810730.2015.1033113

Kim, H., Lee, D., Hong, Yangsun, Ahn, J., & Lee, K-Y. (2016). A content analysis of television food advertising to children: Comparing low and general-nutrition foods. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 20(2), 201-210, doi:10.1111/ijcs.12243.

Yoo, W., Kim, S. Y., Hong, Yangsun, Chih, M-Y., Shah, D. V., & Gustafson, D. (2015). Patient-clinician mobile communication: Analyzing text messaging between adolescents with asthma and nurse case managers. Telemedicine and E-health, 21(1), 62-69, doi:10.1089/tmj.2013.0359.


She received two research grants from the Global Health Institute and from the Center for Research on Gender and Women at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her dissertation project, ‘Experience of Intersectionality and Perceived Social Influence of Mass Media for Adoption of PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) for HIV prevention among Low-Income Black Women: the Importance of Social Context and Communicative Action.’ 

Dr. Hong is a recipient of the Early Carrer Scholar Paper Award from 2021 D. C. Health Communication Conference (DCHC), the 2017 Doris A. Graber Award for Best Public Opinion Paper from Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR), Top Paper Award from American Education in Journalism & Mass Communication (AEJMC), Korean American Communication Division in 2012, and Top Paper Award from Pacific and Asia Communication Association, 2012. Dr. Hong is a recipient of the UNM faculty of color award (PNMGC’s 2020-21 All-Around Award).

Teaching Areas

Quantitative research methods; Advanced quantitative methods; Health and  cultural diversity; Theories in health communication; Mass media effects; Social marketing.