Qianwei Zhao


PhD, University of Southern California
MSW, University of Pennsylvania 
BS in Law, Shandong University of Finance and Economics
Full Curriculum Vita

Research Interests
  • Criminal Justice
  • Women and Children
  • Health and Wellness
  • Mental Health and Trauma
  • Addictions and Substance Use
  • Prisoner Reentry
  • Causal Inferences
Selected Publications

Zhao, Q., Cepeda, A., Chou, C. P., & Valdez, A. (2020). Incarceration Trajectories of Women who are Mothers: A Nationally Representative Study of State and Federal Prisoners. Crime & Delinquency.

Zhao, Q., Cepeda, A., Chou, C. P., & Valdez, A. (2020). Maternal incarceration trajectories and the intergenerational transmission of imprisonment: A nationwide study. Children and Youth Services Review, 118, 105461.

Zhao, Q., Afkinich, J.L., & Valdez, A. (2019). Incarceration history and depressive symptoms among women released from U.S. correctional facilities: Does timing, duration, or frequency matter? The International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. 1-13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007 /s11469-019 -00058-5.

Li, W., Diez, S.L., Zhao, Q. (2019). Exploring problematic Internet use among non-Latinx Black and Latinx youth using the Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire-Short Form (PIUQ-SF). Psychiatry Research, 274, 322-329. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2019. 02.048.

Zhao, Q., Kim, B.K.E., Li, W., Hsiao, H.Y., & Rice, E. (2018). Incarceration history, social network composition, and substance use among homeless youth in Los Angeles. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 37, 64-76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10550887.2018.1545555.

Valdez, A., Nowotny, K.M., Zhao, Q., Cepeda, A. (2018). Romantic relationships, informal social control, and crime among persistent male offenders. Social Problems, 66, 468-483. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spy018.

Hillier, A., Chilton, M., Zhao, Q., Szymkowiak, D., Coffman, R., & Mallya, G. (2015). Concentration of tobacco advertisements at SNAP and WIC stores, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2012. Preventing Chronic Disease, 12, 1-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd1 2.140133external icon.


Dr. Qianwei Zhao joined the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work in July 2020 as an assistant professor upon completing her PhD from the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. She received her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice.

Dr. Zhao's research focuses on the intersection of health disparities, criminal justice, and child and family well-being. She is particularly interested in the wellness of justice-involved women and the developmental outcomes of their children. Her long-term research trajectory centers on developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based community-centered interventions targeting justice-involved populations. Her research has been supported by the NASW Social Work HEALS Fellowship, the Asian Pacific Islander Social Work Educators Association Doctoral Fellowship, and the USC Office of the Provost, Graduate School Russell Endowed Ph.D. Fellowship.