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Xiang Zhao

Title: Postdoctoral Researcher School/office: School of Law, Psychology and Social Work


Phone: +46 19 301475

Room: L2627

Research subject

Research environments

About Xiang Zhao

Dr. Zhao is currently working at Örebro University as a Postdoctoral Researcher. With experts in the area of chronic pain, he is establishing predictive models using Swedish national registry data. Dr. Zhao started his research career with studies on tobacco use among Chinese adolescents. During his doctoral project in Australia and postdoctoral research in Austria, he has applied theories and methods from social and family psychology in health research.

Key interests: chronic pain; tobacco smoking; behavioural medicine; health research methodology; adolescent health; dyadic modelling

In the past 10 years, Dr. Zhao’s research focused on health and safety behaviours. Based on psychological models, his studies explain and predict behaviours such as tobacco and alcohol use, sun-safe protection, facemask use and vaccine hesitancy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and tattoo acquisition. He also extended the above theoretical paradigms by using interviews, ethnographies, and multi-informant perspectives, which provide an ecological lens for understanding contextualised health behaviours. 

Dr. Zhao has involved in development and evaluation of several behavioural change interventions. His doctoral project is to design and implement a school-based anti-smoking program in China. He worked with researchers and governmental officials in Queensland, Australia, on developing an online drink-driving prevention program. In Austria, he provided statistical assistance to a cross-national project on child mental health problems in Eastern Europe. 

So far, Dr. Zhao has over 30 articles published in refereed journals. He has completed over 70 reviews for academic journals. In addition to academic articles, Dr. Zhao also has published pieces about mental health promotion in popular magazines as well as two Chinese books for a general readership.

Dr. Zhao has teaching and supervision experience in Chinese, Australian, and European universities. The courses/seminars he has taught include quantitative research methods, behavioural intervention designs, and visual studies in health research. He lectured a health psychology course at University of Klagenfurt in 2020. As a supervisor, he supports students with research designs and statistical analyses. He also helps students to publish their research findings in academic journals. 

Research teams


Articles in journals |  Chapters in books | 

Articles in journals

Zhao, X. , Prandstetter, K. , Jansen, E. , Hahlweg, K. , Schulz, W. & Foran, H. M. (2021). Interparental Relationship Adjustment, Parenting, and Offspring's Cigarette Smoking at the 10-Year Follow-up. Family Process, 60 (2), 523-537.
Johnson, D. , Zhao, X. , White, K. & Wickramasinghe, V. (2021). Need satisfaction, passion, empathy and helping behaviour in videogame play. Computers in human behavior, 122.
Davey, G. & Zhao, X. (2021). Smoking and the City: A Travelogue in Yuxi. Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 22 (1), 58-80.
Zhao, X. , Prandstetter, K. & Foran, H. M. (2021). Using Dyadic Modeling in Nursing Research: Introduction of Theory and Application. Western Journal of Nursing Research.
Zhao, X. & Davey, G. (2020). Areca Nut Use among a Chinese Ethnic Minority, and Its Health Implications. Substance Use & Misuse, 55 (9), 1519-1524.
Davey, G. , Zhao, X. & Khor, M. (2020). Heterogeneity in beliefs about feeding stray animals: The complexity of human–animal interaction. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 25 (1), 100-103.
Zhao, X. , Kelly, A. , Rowland, B. , Williams, J. , Kremer, P. , Mohebbi, M. , Carter, R. , Abraham, C. & et al. (2020). Intention to drink and alcohol use before 18 years among Australian adolescents: An extended Theory of Planned Behavior. Addictive Behaviours, 111.
Zhao, X. , White, K. & Young, R. (2019). A TPB-Based Smoking Intervention among Chinese High School Students. Substance Use & Misuse, 54 (3), 459-472.
Zhao, X. , Young, R. & White, K. (2019). Challenges for school-based, anti-smoking education in China. The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, 3 (1), 6-7.
White, K. , Zhao, X. , Starfelt Sutton, L. , Young, R. , Hamilton, K. , Hawkes, A. & Leske, S. (2019). Effectiveness of a theory-based sun-safe randomised behavioural change trial among Australian adolescents. Psycho-Oncology, 28 (3), 505-510.
Zhao, X. , White, K. & Young, R. (2019). Future Smoking Intentions at Critical Ages among Students in Two Chinese High Schools. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 26 (1), 91-97.
Davey, G. , Khor, M. & Zhao, X. (2019). Key beliefs underlying public feeding of free-roaming cats in Malaysia and management suggestions. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 24 (1), 1-13.
Zhao, X. , Davey, G. & Wan, X. (2019). Mindfulness, smoking intention, and nicotine dependence among Buddhist ethnic minority adolescents in China. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 28 (3), 210-220.
White, K. , Zhao, X. , Sutton, L. , Robinson, N. & Hamilton, K. (2019). Sun protection and young female beachgoers: A formative theory-based approach to identifying key sun safe beliefs. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 30 (2), 263-266.
Obst, P. , Zhao, X. , White, K. , O'Connor, E. & Longman, H. (2018). Game Identity-Based Motivations of Playing World of Warcraft and Their Psychological Outcomes. CyberPsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 21 (10), 655-660.
Davey, G. & Zhao, X. (2018). Lay Understandings of Health among Dai Lue in Xishuangbanna, China. Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 19 (2), 154-169.
Zhao, X. , White, K. , Young, R. & Obst, P. (2018). Smoking Beliefs Among Chinese Secondary School Students: A Theory-Based Qualitative Study. Nicotine & tobacco research, 20 (3), 321-331.
White, K. , Zhao, X. , Hyde, M. & Hamilton, K. (2018). Surviving the swim: Psychosocial influences on pool owners’ safety compliance and child supervision behaviours. Safety Science, 106, 176-183.
Davey, G. & Zhao, X. (2015). An overview of therapy in China. Therapy Today, 26 (7), 12-15.
Davey, G. & Zhao, X. (2012). Counselling in China. Therapy Today, 23 (9), 12-17.

Chapters in books

Zhao, X. & Davey, G. (2017). 傣乡草烟风俗考察漫记. In: Xishuangbanna Committee of Cultural and Historical Data, 共饮一江水 (pp. 175-178). 北京: 中国文化出版社.
Davey, G. & Zhao, X. (2013). China Association of Women Entrepreneurs. In: Mary Zeiss Stange; Carol K. Oyster; Jane E. Sloan, The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World (pp. 360-362). . Sage Publications.