Objectives: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has fueled xenophobia against Chinese Americans. We examined the rates of 6 types of COVID-19 racism and racial discrimination experienced by Chinese American parents and youth and the associations with their mental health.
Methods: We recruited a population-based sample of Chinese American families to participate in this self-reported survey study conducted from March 14, 2020, to May 31, 2020. Eligible parent participants identified as ethnically/racially Chinese, lived in the United States, and had a 4- to 18-year-old child; their eligible children were 10 to 18 years old.
Results: The sample included 543 Chinese American parents (mean [SD] age, 43.44 [6.47] years; 425 mothers [78.3%]), and their children (N = 230; mean [SD] age, 13.83 [2.53] years; 111 girls [48.3%]). Nearly half of parents and youth reported being directly targeted by COVID-19 racial discrimination online (parents: 172 [31.7%]; youth: 105 [45.7%]) and/or in person (parents: 276 [50.9%]; youth: 115 [50.2%]). A total of 417 (76.8%) parents and 176 (76.5%) youth reported at least 1 incident of COVID-19 vicarious racial discrimination online and/or in person (parents: 481 [88.5%]; youth: 211 [91.9%]). A total of 267 (49.1%) parents and 164 (71.1%) youth perceived health-related Sinophobia in America, and 274 (50.4%) parents and 129 (56.0%) youth perceived media-perpetuated Sinophobia. Higher levels of parent- and youth-perceived racism and racial discrimination were associated with their poorer mental health.
Conclusions: Health care professionals must attend to the racism-related experiences and mental health needs of Chinese Americans parents and their children throughout the COVID-19 pandemic via education and making appropriate mental health referrals.
Copyright © 2020 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.