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Min Zhan


Research Interests

Dr. Zhan received her bachelor’s degree in history from Peking University, China in 1991, and her PhD in social work from Washington University in St. Louis in 2001. She joined the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001. Dr. Zhan’s research centers on identifying social policies and other factors associated with the long-term economic well-being of low-income families with children. Specifically, her research examines the impact of educational approaches, specifically in the forms of postsecondary education and financial management training, on the long-term economic well-being of low-income families. She also examines the role of asset development, an approach that aims to develop human capital and to promote economic security for low-income families through facilitating their financial asset accumulation. Dr. Zhan’s interests focus on financial asset development, human capital development, financial literacy and education, and program evaluation. Dr. Zhan is currently working on or planning several projects, including: evaluating the impact of education loans on college graduation and postgraduate career choices; evaluating the financial and well-being outcomes of a law school clinic specializing in elderly financial abuse; and, examining financial assets, debt, and financial service utilization of low-income population.


BA, History, Peking University, Beijing, 1991

MA, History, Peking University, 1994

PhD, Social Work, Washington University, 2001

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, School of Social Work
Professor, Women & Gender in Global Perspectives
Affiliate, Center for Social and Behavioral Science

Recent Publications

Ostler, T., Zhan, M., & Bronfman, E. (2022). A support-based measure of adult attachment: Links between the Attachment Style Interview and an observational measure of parenting in a sample of at-risk mothers. Adoption and Fostering, 46(4), 437-454.

Zhan, M. (2022). Financial Stress and Hardship among Young Adults: The Role of Student Loan Debt. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 49(3), 84-111. Article 5.

Park, H., Zhan, M., & Choi, S. (2021). Associations between after-school arrangements and labour conditions of low-income working mothers in the United States. Journal of Family Studies, 27(2), 303-320.

Gershenfeld, S., Hood, D. W., & Zhan, M. (2020). The Promise of Summer: A Case Study of Motivation and Impact Among Low-Income Students. In L. W. Perna, & E. J. Smith (Eds.), Improving Research-Based Knowledge of College Promise Programs (pp. 199-218). American Educational Research Association.

Park, H., Zhan, M., & Choi, S. (2020). After-school childcare arrangements and maternal labor supply in low-income American households: Comparisons between race and ethnicity. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 47(4), 85-113. Article 5.

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