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Hsin-Yu Chen

Post Doctoral Researcher


Originally from Taiwan, Hsin-Yu holds an MSc in Recreation and Leisure Service Administration with a graduate certificate in Event Management from Florida State University. She recently completed her PhD in Leisure Studies with a specialization in Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University. Her 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 meanings of skin color from a cross-cultural comparative perspective, her research has implications for our understanding of racism and colorism, social inequality, lived experiences, gender and body image, and health outcomes.

Her additional 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.

Hsin-Yu is honored to serve as a contributing editor for the Cross Currents section of the Journal of College and Character (JCC) and as a columnist for JCC Connexions, where she shares her critical reflections on intercultural relations to foster discussion on diversity-related issues.

Selected Publications and Presentations

Chen, H., Yarnal, C., Chick, G., & Jablonski, N. G. (2017). Egg White or Sun-Kissed: A Cross-Cultural Exploration of Skin Color and Women’s Leisure Behavior. Sex Roles. doi:10.1007/s11199-017-0785-4.

Chen, H., Yarnal, C., & Bram, B. (2017). “Borrowing Happiness from the Future”: Exploring College Students’ Own Experiences on Health-Related Lifestyles. Journal of College and Character, 18(2), 112-129. doi:10.1080/2194587X.2017.1300095

Chen, H., & Yarnal, C. (2017). Intentionally Designed Three-Phase Time Diary (TD) as a Multi-Pronged Practice. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 54(4), 429-440.doi:10.1080/19496591.2017.1338572

Chen, H., Yarnal, C., Hustad, J., & Sims, D. (2016). Take a Selfie of Life: A Qualitative Exploration of College Students’ Self-Reflections on Free Time Use and Personal Values. Journal of College and Character. 17(2), 101-115. doi: 10.1080/2194587X.2016.1159226

Chen, H., Chick, G., Jablonski, N. G., & Yarnal, C. (2017). To tan or not to tan: Exploring cultural perceptions of skin color and sun-related behaviors among Chinese American and Chinese American Adoptee Women. Society for Cross-Cultural Research Conference. New Orleans, LA, US. March 1-4.

Chen, H., Chick, G., Jablonski, N. G., & Yarnal, C. (2014). Cultural differences in skin color preferences and women’s leisure behavior. Poster presented at The 16th Canadian Congress on Leisure Research (CCLR). Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, May 21-23.

Chen, H., Yarnal, C., Chick, G., & Jablonski, N. G. (2014). “I don’t want to get tanned”: Cultural perception of lighter skin color and East Asian women’s constraints for outdoor activities. World Leisure Congress. Mobile, Alabama, US. September 7-12.