What is it about?

The rise in anti-Asian racism from COVID-19 has prompted a greater need to protect Asian Americans from the harmful effects of discrimination on mental health. Our study examines if there are unique interactions between discrimination, social support, and gender that may explain differences in the risk of poorer mental health in Asian Americans.

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Why is it important?

We found that it is not just gender or social support alone that can change the way discrimination influences mental health. During the pandemic, Asian American women who provided emotional support to others were the most affected in their mental health if they faced discrimination.


This article is quite special to me because it is one of the first that I got to publish with friends I made during graduate school. We all identify as Asian American and came in with interests in Asian American mental health, and during COVID-19, it was clear that anti-Asian racism became a central topic of public health concern. Along the way, however, I found how powerful it was to receive support from others in life during times that felt challenging or unfair. Overall, this paper became a reflection of what I believe to be important in enhancing people's mental health and my own.

Michael Huynh
University of California Irvine

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Discrimination and psychological distress among Asian Americans during COVID-19: Gender differences in the moderating role of social support., American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, September 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/ort0000702.
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