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Hye-Ryeon Lee, PhD

Hye-Ryeon Lee, PhD
  • Associate Member
    Population Sciences in the Pacific Program (Cancer Prevention in the Pacific section)
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center
  • Academic Appointments

  • Professor
    Department of Communicology
    University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Faculty
    Center for Korean Studies, School of Pacific and Asian Studies
    University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Cooperating Faculty
    Office of Public Health Studies
    University of Hawaii at Manoa


  • PhD, Communication
    Stanford University

Research Focus

Dr. Hye-Ryeon Lee is Professor at the Department of Communicology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She teaches and conducts research in the area of health communication. Her research focuses on investigating normative influences in the context of health: How people form perceptions about social norms regarding health behaviors, and how these perceptions influence their own health behaviors in the end.

The process through which individuals decide to adopt or to give up behaviors that affect their health is complicated, with various personal, social, and environmental factors exerting influence. A key factor is the perception about social norms since what people believe to be socially acceptable will influence their behavior. Communication plays an important role in the normative influence process as norms are formed, reformed, and maintained through interpersonal and mass-mediated communication. Her research endeavors represent an effort to further our understanding of the role of communication in normative influence processes through policy, culture, and mass media.

Much of her research is conducted in combination with actual communication interventions that are set in the community setting. Dr. Lee has worked on various intervention projects to assess effectiveness of community-based interventions for tobacco, youth violence and HIV prevention in California, Arizona and Hawaii. Tobacco control and prevention has been an important focus of her research since 1994. She has directed many research projects in tobacco use prevention as well as in cessation, working with diverse types of populations including children, young adults, Korean immigrants, and general public in California, Arizona and Hawaii. She also conducts research to investigate the mechanism through which culture and communication influence health behaviors among socially and culturally diverse populations.

Selected Publications

  • Somera LP, Lee H-R, Badowski G, Cassel K. (2016). Health information seeking, source trust, and culture: comparative analysis of health information trends and needs between Guam and the United States. Journal of Health Communication, 21(4), 469-478.
  • Cummins S, Wong S, Bonnevie E, Lee H-R, Goto C, McCree-Carrington J, Kirby C, Zhu, S-H. (2015). A multi-state Asian-Language Tobacco Quitline: Addressing a disparity in access to care. American Journal of Public Health, 105(10), 2150-2155.
  • Lee H-R,Lee H-E, Choi J, Kim J-H, Han H-L. (2014). Social media use, body image and psychological well-being: A cross-cultural comparison of Korea and the United States. Journal of Health Communication, 19(12), 1343-1358.
  • Zhuang Y-L, Cummins S, Lee H-R, Dearing JW, Kirby C, Zhu S-H. (2012). What are the barriers to an Asian-language quitline service? Journal of Community Health. 37(5), 1058-1065.
  • Wills T, Gibbons F, Sargent J, Gerrard M, Lee H-R, Dal Cin S. (2010). Good self-control moderates the effect of mass media on adolescent substance use: Tests with two studies of children and adolescents. Health Psychology, 29, 539-549.

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

  • H.-R, Lee, Co-Investigator / PI, Pallav Pokhrel
    "Prospective effects of electronic cigarette marketing on expectancies and behavior"
  • H.-R, Lee, Co-Investigator / PIs, Neal Palafox, Carl-Wilhelm Vogel, & David Ward
    "University of Guam/University of Hawai`i Cancer Center Partnership "
  • H.-R.Lee, Co-Investigator / PI, Randall Holcombe
    "Administrative Supplements for NCI-designated Cancer Centers to Support Population Health Assessment in Cancer Center Catchment Areas"
  • H-R. Lee, Co-Investigator / PI, Randall Holcombe
    "Cancer Center Supplemental Grant: Laboratory Studies of Tobacco Advertising and Labeling Effects on Adolescents"