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College of Human Sciences

Optimizing Human Performance

Qiong (Joanna) Wu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Wu is accepting new graduate students for 2020-21.

Dr. Joanna Wu

Get to know Dr. Wu


My research interests focus on emotional processes within the family and their role in the intergenerational transmission of psychopathologies from parents to children. More specifically, I have primarily invested my research efforts in examining how maternal mental health problems (depression, anxiety, and substance use) are associated with adjustment issues in children through mother-child emotional dynamics. As an applied researcher and clinician, I am also interested in examining the efficacy of family therapy interventions aimed at improving parent-child emotional interactions.


  • B.S., Psychology, Peking University
  • M.S., Human Development and Family Science, Ohio State University
  • Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization: Quantitative Research Methods, Ohio State University
  • Ph.D., Human Development and Family Science (Couple and Family Therapy), Ohio State University

Publications and Other Scholarly Activities

Wu, Q., Hooper, E. G., Feng, X., Gerhardt, M., & Ku, S. (in press). Mothers’ Depressive Symptoms and Responses to Preschooler’s Emotions: Moderation by Child Expression. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2018.09.005

Wu, Q., & Slesnick, N. (in press). Substance Abusing Mothers with a History of Childhood Abuse and Their Children’s Depressive Symptoms: The Efficacy of Family Therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12364

Wu, Q., Harwood, R. L., & Feng, X. (2018). Family Socioeconomic Status and Maternal Depressive Symptoms: Mediation through Household Food Insecurity across Five Years. Social Science & Medicine, 215, 1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.08.043

Wu, Q., Slesnick, N., & Murnan, A. (2018). Understanding Parenting Stress and Children’s Behavior Problems among Homeless, Substance-Abusing Mothers. Infant Mental Health Journal, 39(4), 423-431. doi: 10.1002/imhj.21717

Wu, Q., Slesnick, N., & Zhang, J. (2018). Understanding the Role of Emotion-Oriented Coping in Women’s Motivation for Change. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 86, 1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2017.12.006

Wu, Q., Feng, X., Hooper, E. G., & Ku, S. (2017). Maternal Emotion Socialization, Depressive Symptoms and Child Emotion Regulation: Child Emotionality as a Moderator. Infant and Child Development, 26(1), e1979. doi: 10.1002/icd.1979


  • ISSBD Early Career Scholar Travel Grant
  • SRCD Student Travel Award
  • OAMFT Scholarship, AAMFT Ohio Division
  • Crane Center Graduate Research Fellow, OSU



“Our destiny offers not the cup of despair, but the chalice of opportunity. So let us seize it not in fear, but in gladness.”
– R.M. Nixon


Research Teaching Mentoring Marriage and Family Therapy Statistical Analysis

Top 5 from “Character Strengths”

Perseverance – Finishing what one starts; persevering in a course of action in spite of obstacles

Prudence – Being careful about one’s choices

Self-Regulation – Regulating what one feels and does

Judgment – Thinking things through and examining them from all sides

Perspective – Being able to provide wise counsel to others


I was born and raised in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China.




“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
– Socrates

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