Digital Media and Communication Research Group

At the Digital Media and Communication (DMC) research group, we study how we communicate and interact with digital media about health and political issues. We conduct theory-based, culturally sensitive, and interdisciplinary research using quantitative research methods. If you have any questions, please email Dr. Sun Hong (
2024 DMC Research Group Meeting at DMC
2024 DMC Research Group Meeting_© DMC

Our Research

  • Hong, Y., & Hashimoto, M. (2023). 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, 38(4), 813-823.
  • Kim, L., Hong, Y., Abrar, S., & FitzGerald, C. A. (2023). Relationships Between Social Media Use, Exposure to Vaccine Misinformation and Online Health Information Seeking Behaviour. Journal of Creative Communications18(2), 199-213.

Current Projects

  • Identifying Instagram User Profiles: Who Obtains Information about Current Public Issues from Instagram? (Choi, Hong, & Kwon) 
  • COVID vaccine for children: Understanding the Influence of Media Exposure, Risk Perceptions, and Pro-vaccine Descriptive Norms on COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy among Parents of Children Under 12 (Choi, FitzGerald, & Hong) 
  • Religious Beliefs and Fatalistic Approach to COVID-19 in Pakistan and Bangladesh (Abrar, Choi, Islam, & Hong)
  • Examining the Role of Social Media Use for Health in the Relationship Between Perceived Threat of Cancer and Cancer Prevention: A Secondary Analysis of HINTS 2022 Data (Taylor & Hong)
  • The Interaction Between Social Media Use and Interpersonal Health Communication in Early Stages of COVID-19 (Taylor, Hong, & Yoo)


Photo: Yangsun Hong

Yangsun Hong

Assistant Professor


social determinants of health inequities, communication inequalities, social norms approach, perception of media bias, misinformation, intersectionality, public opinion, political conversation, political participation, stigma

Graduate Students

Photo: Moonsun Choi

Moonsun Choi

Ph.D. candidate


Media/digital literacy, Internet studies, digital citizenship, political communication/activism, Internet-infused education, critical thinking, online participation
Photo: Courtney FitzGerald

Courtney FitzGerald

Ph.D. candidate


resilience, youth development, youth/student voice, culture-centered approaches, community-based participatory research, participatory action research, public health surveillance, survey research
Photo: Rachel Taylor

Rachel Taylor

Ph.D. student


Media studies, health communication
Photo: Nnenna Udebunu

Nnenna Udebunu

Ph.D. student


Inclusiveness in health communication, gender studies, and new media


Mika Hashimoto

Research Coordinator, Project ECHO

Hyerin Kwon

Ph.D. student, School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sumaira Abrar

Data Analyst II, Accountability & Compliance Bureau, Albuquerque Police Department