Portrait of Ai Bo (asian woman), social work assistant professor

Ai Bo, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Social Work

Dr. Ai Bo is an assistant professor in the Social Work Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Bo’s current research focuses on three interrelated areas of intervention research: advancing intervention theories for understanding structural and behavioral determinants of youth substance use and mental health problems; evaluating and synthesizing intervention effects and mechanisms of substance use prevention programs; and enhancing clinical trial design and evaluation methods.

Dr. Bo is a recipient of the GADE 2019 student award for social work research and has published her work in top-tier interdisciplinary journals. Over the years, she has developed strong applied methodological and statistical skills with expertise in meta-analysis and structural equation modeling.

At UWM, Dr. Bo teaches SW 662 Methods of Social Welfare Research, SW 795 Evaluation of Social Work Practice and Programs, and SW 950 Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Previously, she served as an adjunct lecturer at NYU, teaching substance abuse courses in the BSW Program.

Before joining the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, she was a Kuralt Postdoctoral Scholar for Quantitative Intervention Research at the School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


  • Ph.D, New York University, Silver School of Social Work, 2019
  • MSW, University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, 2014

Professional Interests:

  • Social determinants of health
  • Evidence-based practice for behavioral and mental health problems
  • Adolescent development and substance use prevention
  • Adolescent alcohol use decision making

Recent Publications:

  • Bo, A., Azen, R., Hai, A. H., & Vang, C. (2023). Relative importance of behavior-specific determinants of heavy episodic drinking among U.S. young adults. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions. https://doi.org/10.1080/1533256X.2023.2280959
  • Bo, A., Goings, T. C., Evans, C., Sharma, A., Jennings, Z., Durand, B., Bardeen, A., & Lichtman, A. M. (2023). Culturally sensitive prevention programs for substance use among adolescents of color: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clinical Psychology Review, 99, 102233. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2022.102233
  • Bo, A., Durand, B., & Wang, Y. (2023). A scoping review of parent-involved ethnic and racial socialization programs. Children and Youth Services Review, 144, 106750. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2022.106750
  • Bo, A. (2023). Alcohol-specific and socio-cultural determinants of alcohol use among adolescents of color. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 23, 346-356. https://doi.org/10.1080/1533256X.2022.2149972
  • Bo, A., Hai, A. H., Chen, D., & Hammock, K. (2021).Risk of bias assessments in systematic reviews and meta-analyses of behavioral interventions for substance use outcomes. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 139, 20-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.06.012.
  • Bo, A., Zhang, L., Lu, W., & Chen, D. (2021). Moderating effects of positive parenting on the perceived peer alcohol use and adolescent alcohol use relationship: Racial, ethnic, and gender differences. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 40, 345-360. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-021-00780-x
  • Bo, A., Wu, S., Chen, D., Marsiglia, F., Zhu, Y., Zhang, L., & Zhu, B. (2020). Understanding alcohol-specific antecedents among Chinese vocational school adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 110, 106483https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106483 
  • Bo, A., & Jaccard, J. (2020). Parenting as an inhibitor of gender disparities in alcohol use: The case of early adolescents in China. BMC Public Health, 20, 1098. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09195-2
  • Jaccard, J., & Bo, A. (2018). Prevention science and child/youth development: Randomized explanatory trials for integrating theory, method, and analysis in program evaluation. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research9, 651-687. https://doi.org/10.1086/701388
  • Bo, A., Hai, A. H., & Jaccard, J. (2018). Parent-based interventions on adolescent alcohol use outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Drug and Alcohol Dependence191, 98-109. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.05.031

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