Bo Yang

Assistant Professor
Bo Yang

Office: Communication 317


Dr. Yang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication. Her research examines the intersection of health communication, strategic communication, and new media from a social scientific perspective. The primary topics of her research include how message features and audience characteristics influence health persuasion outcomes, social norms formation and impact on health-related behavior, and health-related media use, processes and effects. She examines these topics in the context of substance abuse, specifically alcohol and tobacco. Her recent work was supported by the National Cancer Institute, National Institute on Drug Abuse and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), focusing on understanding how to effectively communicate to the public and vulnerable population about nicotine and novel tobacco products that may present less risks than conventional cigarettes (modified risk tobacco products). Specific projects include testing messages communicating the relative risk of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) compared to combusted cigarettes, examining communication about nicotine, and exploring the impact of nicotine warning label on comparative risk communication about e-cigarettes. Also, she examines decision making around novel tobacco products among general and vulnerable population in the U.S. and the role of emotions in the decision-making process and individuals' processing of tobacco education messages.

Dr. Yang has been actively working with people across a range of disciplinary areas and has published in major communication and public health journals, such as Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, American Journal of Public Health, Tobacco Control, and Health Education and Behavior. Dr. Yang completed her PhD in Communication at the University of Maryland and her MA in Strategic Public Relations at the University of Southern California. Prior to joining the faculty at University of Arizona, she is a postdoctoral research associate at the National Institutes of Health and FDA jointly funded Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, where she was leading research on tobacco risk communication to inform tobacco education and regulation in the U.S.

Research Interests

Health communication; Media effects; Social influence and Persuasion; Substance Abuse Prevention and Education

Selected Publications

Yang, B., Owusu, D., & Popova, L. (online first). Testing messages about comparative risk of electronic cigarettes and combusted cigarettes. Tobacco Control. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2018-054404

Yang, B., & Nan, X. (online first). The influence of norm-based appeals on college binge drinking intentions: Considering norm type, regulatory mode, and level of alcohol consumption. Health Communication. doi:10.1080/10410236.2018.1517708

Yang, B., Liu, J., & Popova, L. (2019). Feeling hopeful motivates change: Emotional responses to messages communicating comparative risk of electronic cigarettes and combusted cigarettes. Health Education & Behavior, 46, 471-483. doi:10.1177/1090198118825236

Yang. B., & Zhao, X. (2018). TV, social media, and college students’ binge drinking intentions: Moderated mediation models. Journal of Health Communication, 23, 61-71. doi:10.1080/10810730.2017.1411995

Yang, B. (2017). The moderating role of close vs. distal peer injunctive norms and interdependent self-construal in the effects of descriptive norms on college drinking. Health Communication, 33, 762-770. doi:10.1080/10410236.2017.1312202


  • PhD (2017) Communication, University of Maryland, College Park