Jihee Woo

Jihee Woo is a PhD candidate in the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her BA in English Literature and BS in Political Science at Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea. She then received a Fulbright scholarship to earn her MSW with a concentration in direct practice mental health at the University of Pittsburgh. Upon completion of her MSW, she worked with children and families in poverty as a program manager in the Philippines. Afterwards, she joined a research institute in Korea to conduct research on anti-poverty policies.

Jihee’s diverse educational and work experiences have shaped her research interests, which primarily involve social and economic determinants of health. Specifically, her scholarly inquiries focus on: 1) impact of material hardships on worker health; 2) contribution of job quality to health disparities; and 3) economic determinants with a focus on assets and debt of mental health in later life. She currently works on the Pittsburgh Wage Study investigating the lives of low-wage workers both at work and home. Her dissertation furthers this line of research by both examining the myriad factors that impinge on the health of low-wage workers and addressing ways to promote their health.

Research Interests

  • Poverty
  • Health disparities
  • Job quality
  • Material hardship
  • Work-family interaction
  • Retirement

Selected Publications

Woo, J., Choi, H., & Engel, R. (2021). Economic stress and life satisfaction in retirement among Korean older adults: The roles of different types of social support. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 64(5), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/01634372.2021.1937430

Woo, J., Ballentine, K., Shook, J., Engel, R., & Goodkind, S. (In press). Relationships among material hardships, perceived stress, and health among low-wage hospital workers. Health and Social Work.

Ballentine, K. L. & Woo, J. (In press). A structural equation model of emotional labor, work-home interaction, and well-being. Social Work Research.

Woo, J. & Choi, H. (2020). What role do different types of social support play in life satisfaction among Korean older adults in retirement? Innovation in Aging, 4(Supplement_1), 30. 

Lee, D. H., & Woo, J. (2021). Factors to mental health service utilization among Korean Americans. In Yoon, A., Moon, S., & Son, H. (Eds.), Understanding Korean Americans’ Mental Health: A Guide to Culturally Competent Practices, Program Developments, and Policies (pp. 131-157). Lexington Books.

Selected Presentations

Woo, J. & Choi, H. (November, 2021). The effects of assets and debt on the depression trajectory of low-income older adults in South Korea [Paper presentation]. Gerontological Society of America 76th Annual Scientific Meeting, Phoenix, AZ.

Ballentine, K., Woo, J., & Goodkind, S. (January, 2021). A qualitative study of work-family conflict among low-wage parents: The role of workplace climate. In A. R. Pilarz (Chair), Parental employment conditions and family wellbeing [Symposium]. Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Meeting.

Woo, J. & Choi, H. (November, 2020). What role do different types of social support play in life satisfaction among Korean older adults in retirement? [Paper presentation]. Gerontological Society of America 75th Annual Scientific Meeting.

Woo, J., Ballentine, K., Engel, R., Shook, J., & Goodkind, S. (November, 2020). Relationships among material hardships, perceived stress, and health among low-wage workers [Paper presentation]. CSWE 66th Annual Program Meeting.

Woo, J. & Ballentine, K. (2020). More money? More problems? Good jobs do not prevent workers` stress from spilling over to their health [Paper presentation]. Work Family Research Network 5th Conference.

Ballentine, K. & Woo, J. (2020). A qualitative study of work-family interaction among low-income hospital workers with a “high road” employer. In J. R. Henly (Chair), Bringing new perspectives to the understanding of work hour interferences with family life [Symposium]. Work Family Research Network 5th Conference.

Ballentine, K. & Woo, J. (January, 2020). Using structural equation modeling to understand the pathway between work-home interaction and well-being among social worker [Paper presentation]. Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.