Wei-Ju Chen

Wei-Ju Chen

Interim Department Chair, Graduate Program Head, Experimental Psychology AMP Coordinator, Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Psychology
MB 3126

Dr. Wei-Ju Chen is the Interim Department Chair of Psychology, the Graduate Program Head for the Psychology Master's Program, the coordinator for the Experimental Psychology Accelerated Master’s Pathway (AMP) Program Coordinator, and an Assistant Professor of Psychology.

Dr. Chen received her B.S. (summa cum laude) and M.A. in Psychology from San José State University. She completed her Ph.D. in Psychology with a focus in Health Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2017. After obtaining her doctoral degree, she conducted multidisciplinary research and managed a cancer genomics training program as a postdoctoral research associate for 2 years at Texas A&M University. In 2019, Dr. Chen joined UTPB with a Rising STAR faculty grant awarded by the University of Texas System.

Dr. Chen has a great passion for interdisciplinary research on minority health disparities, stress and coping, emotion, genomics, autism spectrum disorders, and cancer prevention.

Education and Training

  • Postdoc, Texas A&M University, 2017–2019
  • Ph.D. in Psychology with Health Psychology Concentration (Minors: Quantitative Methods; Cognition and Perception), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2017
  • M.A. in Psychology, San José State University, 2012
  • B.S. (summa cum laude) in Psychology, San José State University, 2010


  • Community Health Worker Instructor, Certificate #505, TX, since 2017
  • Community Health Worker, Certificate #9384, TX, since 2019

Selected Publications

  • Zhao, S., Ming, L., Chen, W., Zhang, Z., Kramer, J., Takacs, D.S., Magaña, S., Chen, L. (in press). A narrative review of genetic testing for children with autism spectrum disorder in the United States. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
  • Tedross, M., Wang, H., Heigl-Maza, C., Russell, R., Young, C., Kramer, J., Martinez, D., Chen, W., Robbins-Furman, P., Page, R., Montalvo-Liendo, N., & Chen, L. (2023). Pregnant Latinas' perspectives on pursuing expanded carrier screening: “It is better to know than not.” Journal of Genetic Counseling. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/jgc4.1696
  • Chen, W., Johnson, H., Nelson, A., & Fleming, R. (2022). Effects of cardiovascular arousal on emotional experience. Stress and Health, 38(5), 870-878. https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.3140
  • Li, M., Zhao, S., Chen, W., Huang, T., Chen, L. (2022). Knowledge and attitudes toward genetic testing for Autism Spectrum Disorders among parents of affected children in Taiwan. Genes, 13(2), 239. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13020239
  • Zhang, Z., Kramer, J., Wang, H., Chen, W., Huang, T., Chen, Y., Tseng, T., & Chen, L. (2022). Attitudes toward pursuing genetic testing among parents of children with autism spectrum disorders in Taiwan: A qualitative investigation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(1), 6774. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010118
  • Chen, W., Nelson, A. M., Johnson, H. B., & Fleming, R. (2021). Effects of self-affirmation on emotion and cardiovascular responses. Stress and Health, 37(2), 201-212. https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.2986
  • Chen, W., Zhao, S., Stelzig, D., Nimmons, K. M., Dhar, S. U., Eble, T. N., Martinez, D., Yeh, Y., & Chen, L. (2021). Family health history-based cancer prevention training for community health workers. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 60(3), e159-167. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2020.09.019
  • Chen, W., Zhang, Z., Wang, H., Tseng, T., Ma, P., & Chen, L. (2021). Perceptions of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) etiology among parents of children with ASD. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(13), 6774. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136774
  • Zhao, S., Chen, W., Dhar, S., Eble, T., Kwok, O., & Chen, L. (2021). Pursuing genetic testing for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: What do parents think? Journal of Genetic Counseling, 30(2), 370-382. https://doi.org/10.1002/jgc4.1320

Research Interests

Psychophysiological Research on Well-being
My research in psychological and physiological well-being involves:

  1. studying the complex links among physiological arousal, emotion, and perceived emotional experience
  2. examining the effects of coping on physiological responses during and subsequent to induction of stress or emotion, as well as its long-term impacts
  3. assessing the connections between value affirmation and positive psychology

Health Disparities among Underserved and Marginalized Populations
I am interested in conducting innovative and timely research on minority health disparities, including:

  1. exploring new technologies and methods that can contribute to cancer prevention education and health disparities research
  2. further specifying predictors of physical and psychological health among different underserved or marginalized populations to develop culturally appropriate models for health disparities research
  3. assessing as well as disseminating education and interventions to address cancer disparities among underserved populations


  • PSYC 4307 Health Psychology
  • PSYC 3386 Human Sexuality
  • PSYC 4393 Senior Seminar
  • PSYC 3304 Psychological Research Methods
  • PSYC 3104 Psychological Research Project
  • PSYC 4304 Physiological Psychology
  • PSYC 6302 Research Methodology
  • PSYC 6304 Advanced Statistics: Analysis of Variance
  • PSYC 6314 Advanced Statistics: Regression
  • PSYC 6308 Graduate Seminar in Psychology
  • PSYC 6309 Advanced Physiological Psychology
  • Accepting:
    • Master’s Thesis Students
    • Graduate Research Assistants
    • Undergraduate Research Assistants
    • Independent Study or Research