Zhi (Max) Zhang

My current sociological research interest lies in the specialization areas of mental health and deviance across childhood and adolescence. Family issues also highly interest me due to their crucial influential power on youth’s developmental processes and life course trajectories. My primary research goal is to investigate the connection between adolescents’ deviant behaviors and their mental health well-being, and to understand how their mental health problems influence their achievement in different areas, such as instant academic performance, and career in their later life stages. A few of my working papers have laid up a good foundation. For example, I investigated the association between depression and anger and school age children’s bullying behaviors. I found that anger is not only a mechanism through which depression triggers bullying, but a moderator which exacerbate the positive effect of depression. Another paper is about studying how adolescents’ deviant behaviors may influence later mental health and well-being as a result of damaged family support and other social bonds. This paper emphasizes the long term negative effects of bullying on bullying perpetrators through their interaction with the instant environments. Another area of my research interest is family and intimate partner violence (IPV). I started with a term paper focused on IPV related racial inequality in arrests, conviction, and incarceration. I want to move forward to understand more about the causes, mechanisms and consequences of IPV, especially IPV among young people. Therefore, for my dissertation research, I am using The International Dating Violence Study (IDVS) which was conducted by a consortium of researchers in 32 nations. It includes data on both perpetration and being a victim of violence. In this research, three aspects of IPV will be investigated: 1) why do people commit IPV? 2) How would IPV be conducted and perceived in different regions and cultures? 3) What would be the social reaction in different nations’ societies, or what policy implication could be drawing in different countries?

My teachings interests are in the area of deviance, family, and mental health. Currently, I am teaching Introduction to Sociology.   As a sociology instructor, my objectives are allowing students (a) to develop a comprehensive understanding of sociological theories and the social world, (b) to be aware of existing social structures and the relations among them, (c) to extend the boundaries of students’ preconceptions about social phenomena, (d) and engage in positive social change. One of my teaching strengths is bringing multicultural perspectives to the class. Students have the opportunity to hear about sociology from both Western and Eastern cultural perspectives, thereby gaining a better understanding of the sociological imagination.

M.A.: The University of Texas at San Antonio
Email: zhangzhi0182@yahoo.com