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A mixed-methods study of race-based stress and trauma affecting Asian Americans during COVID.

Yang JP, Do QA, Nhan ER, Chen JA. A mixed-methods study of race-based stress and trauma affecting Asian Americans during COVID. Clinical psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. 2023 Jul 11; 2023.

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COVID-19 propelled anti-Asian racism around the world; empirical research has yet to examine the phenomenology of racial trauma affecting Asian communities. Our mixed methods study of 215 Asian participants of 15 ethnicities examined experiences of racism during COVID and resulting psychological sequelae. Through qualitative content analysis, themes emerged of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral changes resulting from these racialized perpetrations, including: internalizing emotions of fear, sadness, and shame; negative alterations in cognitions such as reduced trust and self worth; and behavioral isolation, avoidance, and hypervigilance, in addition to positive coping actions of commitment to racial equity initiatives. We engaged in data triangulation with quantitative Mann-Whitney U tests, finding that those who experienced COVID discrimination had significantly higher racial trauma and PTSD scores compared to those who did not. Our convergent findings provide clinicians with novel ways to assess the ongoing impact of racial trauma and implement appropriate interventions for clients.

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