Dr. Hsin-Yu Chen

Post Doctoral Researcher

Hsin-Yu’s transdisciplinary research interests lie at the intersection of cultural anthropology, sociology, social psychology, human behavior and development, and health and wellbeing. She is particularly interested in how people’s perceptions of and attitudes toward skin color influence a wide range of daily behaviors and decision making. Exploring the complex sociocultural values and deep-seated meanings of skin color and its ramifications from a cross-cultural comparative perspective, her research deepens the understanding of racism and colorism, social inequality, lived experiences, gender and body image, and health outcomes.

Her other major research line examines college students’ free-time use in relation to personal values, identity development, learning and engagement, and health-related lifestyle choices through an innovative research design employing a three-phase time diary. This theory-to-practice approach can be implemented in varied contexts to understand human behavior and promote self-awareness, with scalable and transferable implications for student affairs and outreach programs in higher education.

Recognizing the importance of applying knowledge to a broad range of real-world situations, Hsin-Yu is working with Dr. Nina Jablonski and a team of researchers at a leading multinational cosmetics and beauty company to establish a theory-driven framework to integrate basic and applied social science perspectives and approaches for research and innovation. 

Hsin-Yu is also honored to serve as an Associate Editor for the Journal of College and Character, a peer-reviewed journal published by NASPA | Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. As a Contributing Editor and focus author for the Journal’s Cross Currents section and Connexions newsletter, she regularly shares her critical reflections on intercultural relations to foster discussion on diversity-related issues. For more information about Hsin-Yu, please visit here


Selected Publications and Presentations

Chen, H.-Y. & Jablonski, N. G. (in press). Deeper than the surface: Exploring symbolic cultural cues behind skin color among three groups of women with Chinese heritage. American Journal of Cultural Sociology.   

Chen, H.-Y., Robinson, J. K., & Jablonski, N. G. (2020). A Cross-Cultural Exploration on the Psychological Aspects of Skin Color Aesthetics: Implications for Sun-Related Behavior. Translational Behavioral Medicine,10(1), 234-243. doi:10.1093/tbm/ibz063

Chen, H.-Y., Jablonski, N. G., Chick, G., & Yarnal, C. (2020). Caught between Light Skin is Beautiful and Tanned Skin is Attractive: How Bicultural Socialization Shapes Attitudes toward Skin Color Aesthetics. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 10(4), 326-340. doi:10.1037/aap0000154

Chen, H.-Y. & Jablonski, N. G. (2020). Is getting “darker” the same as “more tanned”? Views on melanin production from sociocultural perspectives. Society for Cross-Cultural Research Conference. Seattle, WA, US. February 26-29.

Chen, H.-Y., & Jablonski, N.G. (2019). To see or not to see: Issues Surrounding the Social Meanings of Skin Color. Journal of College and Character, 20 (1), 65-72. doi:10.1080/2194587X.2018.1559203

Chen, H.-Y., Jablonski. N. G., & Chick, G. (2019). “If you could choose…” Attitudes toward Skin Color and Makeup Foundation Shade Choices in Daily Contexts: A Cross-Cultural Study. Society for Cross-Cultural Research Conference. Jacksonville, FL, US. February 13-17.

Chen, H.-Y., Yarnal, C., Chick, G., & Jablonski, N. (2018). Egg white or sun-kissed: A cross-cultural exploration of skin color and women’s leisure behavior. Sex Roles, 78, 255-271. doi:10.1007/s11199-017-0785-4

Chen, H.-Y., Jablonski, N. G., Chick, G., & Yarnal, C. (2018). A cross-cultural comparison of attitudes toward skin color and sun-related behaviors. Society for Prevention Research. Washington, DC, US. May 29-June 1.

Chen, H.-Y., Chick, G., Yarnal, C., & Jablonski, N. G. (2018). Examining colorism and associated behaviors among African-American female college students. The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Pittsburgh, PA, US. June29-July1.