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Xiaoling Xiang

Associate Professor of Social Work

Xiaoling Xiang

Dr. Xiang's research is dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of older adults, aiming for a state of complete physical, mental and social wellness. Her work spans two primary areas: fundamental social science research and applied intervention research.

In her fundamental research, Xiang investigates the interplay between physical functioning, disability, mental health and cognition. She has worked on over a dozen national surveys, including the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS). Her numerous publications frequently feature advanced statistical techniques such as different types of survival analysis, SEM, GLMMs and quasi-experimental methods.

In applied intervention research, Xiang focuses on developing and implementing digital mental health interventions for home- and community-based settings. A notable project in this area is Empower@Home, an innovative internet-delivered psychotherapy program specifically designed for older adults with depression. Xiang is currently the principal investigator of an NIMH-funded R01 project testing the real-world implementation effectiveness of Empower@Home for low-income older adults.

Additionally, Xiang is expanding her research to include the application of artificial intelligence. A recent example of this work is her study on ageism during the COVID-19 pandemic, published in the Journals of Gerontology. The study employs topic modeling and classification techniques to analyze tweets.

Xiang is available to mentor PhD students.

Research Interests/Focus

Aging and mental health, late-life depression, chronic disease, comorbidity, digital mental health intervention, implementation research and applied artificial intelligence.


Year Degree   School
2015 PhD Social Work University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
2015 MSW Macro University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
2011 MPhil Social Welfare Chinese University of Hong Kong, CHINA
2009 BA Social Work and Sociology Peking University, Beijing, CHINA

View all publications by Xiaoling Xiang »

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