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Anao Zhang

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Anao Zhang

Dr. Anao Zhang is an assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan and the clinical research director of the Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) Oncology Program at Michigan Medicine. Zhang is a health and mental health intervention researcher with a primary research interest in psycho-oncology and adolescent and young adult cancer survivorship. An intervention researcher by training, Zhang contextualizes his work using the social determinants of youth health framework, and aims to develop and deliver integrated and empirically supported mental health treatment to individuals with co-morbid physical and mental health condition, e.g., AYA cancer survivors with depression. Zhang is also an applied quantitative methodologist who uses advanced statistical methods to support his research, including meta-analysis, structural equation modeling, analyzing experimental data, causal inference and machine learning. Zhang serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, and the deputy chair of survivorship SIG at the International Psycho-Oncology Society.

Clinically, Zhang is a licensed clinical social worker, a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers, and a diplomate of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Zhang has over five years of clinical experience in various hospital settings and specializes in solution-focused brief therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Zhang's teaching interests include advanced clinical social work practice, clinical social work practice in integrated healthcare, inter-professional education, and advanced quantitative methods in social work research. Zhang received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin where he also completed the graduate portfolio program in Applied Statistical Modeling. Zhang received his MSW from the University of Pennsylvania.

Research Interests / Focus

Psych-Oncology; AYA survivorship; social determinants of youth health and mental health; evidence-based practice; and integrated behavioral health.

Research Interests/Focus

Health and mental; Evidence-based practice; Psychosocial oncology; Social determinants of health; Integrated behavioral health; and Quantitative methods.

Contact Information

(734) 647-6787zhangan@umich.edu3704 SSWBUniversity of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 S. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 647-6787Michigan Medicine
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Adolescent & Young Adult Program
1500 E. Medical Center Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Year Degree   School
2018 PhD Social Work University of Texas, Austin
2012 MSW Social Work University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
2010 LLB Social Work Fudan University, Shanghai, PRC



Nelson, A., Esther, A., Sun, F., & Zhang, A. (2020). Culturally adapted psychotherapeutic interventions for Latino depression and anxiety: A meta-analysis. Research on Social Work Practice.

Wang, K., Zhang, A., Sun, F., & Hu, R. X. (2020). Self-rated health among older Chinese Americans: The roles of acculturation and family cohesion. Journal of Applied Gerongology.

Gao, X., Gao, X., Guo, L., Sun, F., & Zhang, A. (2020). Perceived threat of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in Chinese older adults: The role of knowledge and perceived stigma. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 35, 223-229.

Zhang, A., Chen, Z., Wang, K., Elliott, W., & Morrow, S. (2020). Association between children’s saving account and parent rated children’s health: A preliminary study. Sociology Mind, 10(1), 1-14.

Chen, Z., Elliott, W., Wang, K., Zhang, A., & Zheng, H. (2020). Examining parental educational expectations in one of the oldest children’s savings account programs in the country: The Harold Alfond College Challenge. Children and Youth Service Review, 108, 104582.

Zhang, A., Franklin, C., & Hopson, L. (2020). Quantitative family systems. In C. Jordan, & C. Franklin (Eds.), Clinical Assessment for Social Workers (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Zhang, A.,& Franklin, C. (2020). Quantitative assessment methods. In C. Jordan, & C. Franklin (Eds.), Clinical Assessment for Social Workers (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Zhang, A., Hu, R., Wang, K., & Peregin-Antalis, E. (2020). Age moderates the relationship between psychological distress and engagement in mindfulness among cancer survivors: Results from a nationally representative sample. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology.

An, Q., Wang, K., Sun, F., & Zhang, A. (2020). The effectiveness of a modified group-based cognitive behavioural intervention for dementia anxiety among Chinese older adults: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorder, 274(1), 76-84.

Wang, K., Zhang, A., Zheng, H., Kim, Y., & Padilla, Y. (2020). Proximal social determinants of adolescents’ health:The importance of everyday life circumstances. Youth and Society.

Bornheimer, L., Zhang, A., Li, J., Hiller, M., & Tarrier, N. (2020). Effectiveness of suicide-focused psychosocial interventions in psychosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychiatric Services.

Bornheimer, L. A., Wang, K., Zhang, A., Li, J., Trim, E. E., Ilgen, M., & King, C. (2020). National trends in non-fatal suicide behaviors among adults in the United States from 2009-2017. Psychological Medicine.

Zhang, A., Franklin, C., Jing, S., Bornheimer, L. A., Hai, A., Himle, J. A., Kong, D, & Ji, Q. (2019). The effectiveness of four empirically supported psychotherapies for primary care depression and anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 245, 1168-1186.

Zhang, A., Kong, D., Jiang, L., Sun, F., Dunkle, R., & Liu, C. (2019). Understanding the effectiveness of psychosocial services for anxiety and depression in chinese older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. The Gerontologist.

Zhang, A., De Luca, S., Oh, S., Liu, C., & Song, X. (2019). The moderating effect of gender on the relationship between bullying and adolescents’ self-rated health: An exploratory study using the Fragile Families and Wellbeing Study. Children and Youth Services Review, 96, 155-162.

Bornheimer, L., Zhang, A., Tarrier, N., Li, J., Ng, Y., & Himle, J. (2019). Depression moderates the relationships between hallucinations, delusions, and suicidal ideation: The cumulative effect of experiencing both hallucinations and delusions. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 116, 166-171.

Park, S., Guz, S., Zhang, A., Beretvas, N., Franklin, C. & Kim, J. (2019). Characteristics of effective school-based, teacher-delivered mental health services for children. Research on Social Work Practice.

Zhang, A., Liu, C., Bornheimer, L. A., Solomon, P., Wang, K., & Morrow, S. (2019). The indirect effect of bullying on adolescent self-rated health through mental health: A gender specific pattern. Children and Youth Services Review, 104, 104385.

O’Gara, J., Zhang, A., Padilla, Y. C., Liu, C., & Wang, K. (2019). Father-youth closeness and adolescent self-rated health: The mediating role of mental health. Children and Youth Services Review, 104, 104386.

Zhang, A., Bornheimer, L. A., Weaver, A., Franklin, C., Hai, A., Guz, S., & Shen, L. (2019). Cognitive behavioral therapy for primary care depression and anxiety: A secondary meta-analytic review using robust variance estimation in meta-regression. Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

Luo, Y., Sun, F., Jiang, L., & Zhang, A. (2019). The stress and coping experiences among Chinese rural older adults in welfare housing: through the lens of life review. Aging and Mental Health, 23(9), 1086-1094.

Li, Y., Solomon, P., Zhang, A., Franklin, C., Ji, Q. Y., & Chen, Y. (2018). Efficacy of solution-focused brief therapy for distress among parents of children with congenital heart diseases in China. Health and Social Work, 43(1), 30-40.

Zhang, A., Park, S., Sullivan, J. E., & Jing, S. (2018). The effectiveness of problem-solving therapy for primary care patients' depressive and/or anxiety disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 31(1), 139-150.

Zhang, A., Ji, Q., Currin-McCulloch, J., Solomon, P., Chen, Y., Li, Y., Jones, B., Franklin, C., & Nowicki, J. (2018). The effectiveness of solution-focused brief therapy for psychological distress among Chinese parents of children with a cancer diagnosis: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Supportive Care in Cancer.

Chen, H., Liu, X., Guz, S., Zhang, A., Franklin, C., Zhang, Y. & Qu, Y. (2018). The use of solution-focused brief therapy in Chinese schools: A qualitative analysis of practitioners’ perceptions. International Journal of School Social Work, 3(1).

Zhang, A., Franklin, C., Ji, Q. Y., Chen, Y. T., & Jing, S. J. (2018). Evidence-based practice in Chinese social work: Overcoming language and developmental barriers. China Journal of Social Work, 11(1), 41-55.

Kim, Y., Padilla, Y., Zhang, A., & Oh, S. (2018). Young children’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors after mothers exit welfare: Comparisons with children of non-welfare mothers. Children and Youth Services Review, 86, 316-323.

Zhang, A., Franklin, C., Currin-Mcculloch, J., Park, S., & Kim, J. S. (2017). The effectiveness of strength-based, solution-focused brief therapy in medical settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 41(2), 139-151.

Ji, Q. Y., Currin-McCulloch, J., Zhang, A., Streeter, C. J., Jones, B. L., & Chen, Y. (2017). Assessing the needs of parents of children diagnosed with cancer in China: A psychometric study developing a needs assessment tool. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 35(1), 6-15.

Zhang, A., Padilla, Y., & Kim, Y. (2017). How early do social determinants start to operate? Results from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 37, 42-50.

Franklin, C., Kim, J. S., Beretvas, N., Zhang, A., Guz, S., Park, S., Montgomery, K., Chung, S., & Maynard, B. R. (2017). The effectiveness of psychosocial interventions delivered by teachers in schools: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Child Family Psychology Review, 20(3), 333-350.

Zhang, A., & Jang, Y. (2017). The role of internal health locus of control in relation to self-rated health in older adults. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 60(1), 68-78.

Ji, Q., & Zhang, A. (2017). Development of Medical Social Work in Shanghai. Encyclopedia of Social Work. Oxford University Press.

Franklin, C., Zhang, A., Froerer, A., & Shannon, J. (2016). Solution focused brief therapy: A systematic review and meta-summary of process research. Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy, 43(1), 16-30.

Franklin, C., & Zhang, A. (2016). Quantitative assessment methods. In C. Jordan, & C. Franklin (Eds.), Clinical Assessment for Social Workers (4th ed.). Chicago, IL: Lyceum Book Inc.

Franklin, C., Hopson, L., Guo, Y., & Zhang, A. (2016). Family systems. In C. Jordan, & C. Franklin (Eds.), Clinical Assessment for Social Workers (4th ed.). Chicago, IL: Lyceum Book Inc.

Zhang, A., & Ji, Q. (2012). The effectiveness of family system intervention of pediatric oncology patients: A randomized control trial. Chinese Journal of Hospital Administration, 28(3), 203-208.

Zhang, A., & Gao, J. (2009). Using Satir family intervention in treating pediatric oncology patients’ familial stress: A qualitative study. China Social Work, 7(2), 39-45.

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