College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 11-22-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Anne Saw, PhD

Second Advisor

Megan Greeson, PhD

Third Advisor

Jocelyn Carter, PhD


Asian Americans have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing COVID-related anti-Asian racism as well as exacerbated pandemic-related stressors, such as increased negative mental health symptoms and economic challenges, due to existing structural inequities. Asian Americans are a diverse group made up of various ethnic and cultural groups with differential impacts from the pandemic. Examining differences within Asian Americans is therefore important to further understand the impacts of health inequities, economic challenges, and racism. Using a large, national dataset, I conducted three studies that examine Asian Americans’ experiences of anti-Asian racism, negative mental health symptoms, and economic challenges within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Study one examined Asian Americans’ prevalence rates of psychological distress and unmet mental health needs by sociodemographic subgroups. In study two, I examined rates of discrimination and awareness of anti-Asian COVID-related racism by sociodemographic subgroups as well as the impacts these two forms of racism have on psychological distress and physical health decline. Finally, in study three, I examined latent profiles of a proposed COVID-19 anti-Asian racism syndemic, describing how experiences of anti-Asian racism, mental and physical health, and economic challenges overlap and differ for Asian American subgroups. Asian Americans’ wellbeing is an important public health concern that needs to be addressed systemically. By examining subgroup differences in mental health and related disparities (i.e., anti-Asian racism and economic inequities), these three studies delineate specific Asian American subgroups who are most vulnerable and in need of services and policy change.

SLP Collection