David Lee


Headshot of Dr. David Lee.

David Lee


David Lee


Scholarly Interests

Social support; social media use; social relationships & well-being/health; interpersonal communication; social cognition


Dr. Lee’s research examines the link between social relationships and well-being/health. He is interested in both the theoretical and practical question of how people can navigate their social world in ways that promote well-being/health. Dr. Lee approaches this question using diverse methods (e.g., experiments, longitudinal designs, biological measures) and perspectives across disciplines (e.g., communication, social psychology, behavioral medicine).

Dr. Lee’s research has been featured in top journals such as Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Brain Behavior and Immunity, Telematics and Informatics, and Journal of Medical Internet Research. He has recently secured an R01 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. His research has won a top paper award from the International Communication Association. Dr. Lee’s work has been featured in several media outlets such as New York Times, NBC News, CNN, the Economist, and Huffington Post.

Educational Background

  • PhD, University of Michigan
  • MA, University of Michigan
  • BA, University of Michigan

Recent Courses

  • COM 199: UB Seminar on Interpersonal Relationships
  • COM 225: Interpersonal Communication
  • COM 473: Communication and Entrepreneurship
  • COM 483: Demystify Your Relationships
  • COM 517: Applied Theory Testing
  • COM 677: Social Well-Being

Current Research

  • Bidirectional association between inflammation and social media use
  • How to give effective social support and how to maximize the benefits of receiving social support
  • How people can better connect with diverse individuals in their social network

Selected Publications

Lee, D. S., Jiang, T., Crocker, J., & Way, B, M. (2023). Social media use and its concurrent and subsequent relation to a biological marker of inflammation: A short-term longitudinal investigation. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 25, e46309. https://doi.org/10.2196/46309

Lee, D. S. & Fujita, K. (2023). From whom do people seek what type of support? A regulatory scope perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 124, 796-811. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000405

Lee, D. S., Jiang, T., Crocker, J., & Way, B, M. (2023). Can Inflammation Predict Social Media Use? Linking a Biological Marker of Systemic Inflammation with Social Media Use Among College Students and Middle-Aged Adults. Brain Behavior and Immunity, 112, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2023.05.010

Lee, D. S., Orvell, A., Briskin, J., Shrapnell, T., Gelman, S., Ayduk, O., Ybarra, O., & Kross, E. (2020). When chatting about negative experiences helps—and when it hurts: Distinguishing adaptive vs. maladaptive social support in computer-mediated communication. Emotion, 20, 368-375. https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000555

Lee, D. S., & Ybarra, O. (2017). Cultivating effective social support through abstraction: Reframing social support promotes goal-pursuit. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 453-464. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167216688205