Xiao Ding is a doctoral student at The University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work and the recipient of the Michael R. Daley Endowed Presidential Scholarship for Doctoral Students. Xiao earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2018, with a concentration in Mental Health, Children and Adolescents. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcasting and Television Journalism from Hubei University, China. Born and raised in an underdeveloped, remote, and ethnic minority-dominant city in the northwest of mainland China, Xiao witnessed the regional disparities among ethnic and socio-economic groups in terms of access to social services and the need for change.

Xiao’s research is grounded in her past research and practice experience. She worked as a research assistant at the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education while at Case. During that time, she was involved in multiple program evaluation projects regarding positive youth development and was a co-author of several annual reports. Xiao was the lead author and poster presenter on behalf of her research team at Begun Center at the 2018 Research ShowCASE at Case. After graduation, Xiao worked as a school-based therapist in Maple Heights, Ohio to continue serving children, youth and their families through counseling and community services. As a school-based therapist, she was trained to identify at-risk children and help them redirect their trajectory through early intervention. She is particularly interested in knowing more about the influence of the ‘other than school’ environments on youths regarding their academic skills and resilience development.

Xiao’s current research focuses are 1) children and adolescents’ behavioral control and prediction; 2) the impacts and variances on youth development while being exposed to risks, childhood adversities, or a less privileged social status; 3) trauma informed practice and resilience-based care at the community level across different social environments.

Xiao is currently working with professors Cynthia Franklin on a meta-analysis concerning the common elements of Solution-focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) Interventions in community-based settings. Her ultimate goal is to develop a model that can be tailored to various populations so that SFBT interventions are readily accessible across the globe.

Professional Interests

Solution-focused brief therapy; Prevention and early intervention; Mental health among children and adolescents; Trauma-informed care and Resilience development; Community-based research on a global-level utilizing a culturally competent approach; and School social work.