Kai Wei



More Information


Doctoral student Kai Wei uses the methods of data science to address social justice issues. Drawing on computational and social work approaches to research, she is currently engaging in text mining and survey methods to understand the mechanisms of negative portrayals of news and social media and their effects on immigrant emotional wellbeing. Her works on the evolution of “Latino Threat Narrative” and the dynamics of anti-immigrant prejudice on social media are being conducted in collaboration with researchers in the Pittsburgh Computational Social Science Lab (PICSO). Wei also serves on the steering and program committees of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) Early Career Preventionist Network (ECPN). She is dedicated to promoting computational social work research and collaboration between social work research and information and computer science.

Research Interests

  • The linguistic manifestations of prejudice and its adverse effects.
  • Computational approaches for mining social dynamics from news and social media.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Wei, K., & Booth, J. (in press). The Association between Neighborhood Factors and Mexican Americans’ Mental Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare.

Booth, J., Chapman, D., Ohmer, M., Wei. K. (in press). Examining the Relationship between Level of Participation in Community Gardens and their Multiple Functions. The Journal of Community Practice.

Urbaeva, J., Booth, J., Wei, K. (in press). The Relationship between Cultural Identification, Family Socialization and Adolescent Alcohol Use among Native American Families. Journal of Child and Family Studies.

Book Chapters

Booth, J., & Wei, K. (2015). The Latino health paradox: Examining the Mexican American Experience. Contemporary issues for people of color: Surviving and thriving in the U.S. today, Volume 4: Health and wellness, Greenwood.

Peer-reviewed Conference Papers

Chung, W.-T., Wei, K., Lin, Y.-R., Wen, X. (2016). The Dynamics of Group Risk Perception in the US After Paris Attacks. In Proc. of the 8th International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2016) [Full paper; Acceptance rate: 28%, Best Paper Award]

Wei, K., & Lin, Y. R. (2016). The evolution of Latino threat narrative from 1997 to 2014. IConference 2016 Proceedings. [poster paper; Best Poster Paper Finalist]

Selected Conference Presentations

Wei, K., Fusco, R. A., & Booth, J. (2017, January, accepted). How Does Latino Threat Narrative Affect Negative Emotions and Perceived Threat Towards Latino Immigrants? a Call for Stigma­Focused Interventions. Society for Social Work Research. New Orleans

Wei, K., Booth, J., & Jacobson, D. (2017, January, accepted). Leveraging Big Data for Social Good: Examining Moral Values in Immigration Discussions in News Media. Society for Social Work Research. New Orleans. (poster)