Ying Chen Headshot

Ying Chen, ScD

Ying Chen, Sc.D., serves as an empirical research scientist for the Human Flourishing Program. She was previously a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Professor VanderWeele in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she also completed her doctoral studies in 2016 in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her research concerns identifying positive psychosocial factors that help individuals to attain and maintain health. She is particularly interested in studying health assets within the family for improving offspring health. For instance, she has examined whether greater parental warmth may help offspring maintain positive mental health as characterized by flourishing in later life. She has also investigated the association of parenting styles and parents’ marital stability with offspring’s body weight trajectories. Her other work and interests include a) social disparity in the distribution of mental and psychological well-being; b) the biological and behavioral mechanisms linking childhood familial experiences to health in adulthood; c) the association of religious service attendance, forgiveness and sense of mission with mental and physical health in later life.