Yong Gao, PhD
Professor, Department of Kinesiology
Yong Gao earned a PhD in Measurement & Evaluation from the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her dissertation, Differential Item Functioning Analysis of Physical Activity Disparities in the U.S., applied an advanced measurement and statistical approach to investigate if there are any potential-biased items in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) physical activity questionnaire and the impact of these items on current physical activity disparity conclusions. An effort was also made to identify subpopulation preferred physical activity among the diverse U.S. population.
Gao’s research interests are to explore the applications of modern measurement and statistical techniques to critical issues in physical activity and public health, e.g., physical activity disparities and obesity. Her research includes: (1) the evaluation of measurement issues in health and physical activity research, (2) the evaluation of existing tools and instruments using advanced measurement methods, and (3) the development of new, more culturally sensitive and accurate measures and methodologies to assess physical activity and health outcomes among minority groups. She believes her research focus will lead to better, more efficient and appropriate health and physical activity promotion and intervention programs for specific minority populations which in turn will make a significant contribution to the national goal of elimination of health disparities.