John Christensen

Associate Professor

Department of Communication


Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2011


John Christensen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. His research is focused on changing unhealthy attitudes, emotions, and behavior through the use of persuasive communication technologies. He is particularly interested in creating immersive video games and artificially intelligent virtual humans that reduce risk-taking and stigma-related stress among racial minority and LGBT populations.

Courses Taught

  • COMM 3000Q: Research Methods in Communication
  • COMM 4660W: Computer Mediated Communication
  • COMM 4700: Health Communication
  • COMM 5001: Introduction to Graduate Communication Research

Research Affiliations

UConn Digital Gamesmith© Laboratory

UConn InCHIP (Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy)

Select Publications

Christensen, J. L. (2015). Gaming. In A. Goldberg (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication.

Shegog, R., Brown, K., Bull, S., Christensen, J. L., Hieftje, K., Jozkowski, K. N., and Ybarra, M. L. (2015). Serious games and sexual health. Games for Health Journal, 4(2), 69-77.

Park, M., Anderson, J. N., Christensen, J. L., Miller, L. C., Appleby, P. R., and Read, S. J. (2014). Young men’s shame about their desire for other men predicts risky sex and moderates the knowledge-self-efficacy link. Frontiers in Public Health, 2, 183.

Miller, L. C. and Christensen, J. L. (2014). HIV/AIDS Prevention. In T. L. Thompson and J. G. Golson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Health Communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Christensen, J. L., Miller, L. C., Appleby, P. R., Corsbie-Massay, C., Godoy, C. G., Marsella, S. C., and Read, S. J. (2013). Reducing shame in a game that predicts HIV risk reduction for young adult MSM: A randomized trial delivered nationally over the web. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 16(3Suppl 2), 18716. (Special Issue; Impact Factor: 3.94)

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-5257
Mailing Address337 Mansfield Rd, Unit 1259 Storrs, CT 06269
Office Location214 ARJ