Asian American adolescents are facing unprecedented risks to their mental health. They are living with high levels of anti-Asian hate and violence fueled by references to COVID-19 as “the China virus.” Physical assaults against Asian Americans skyrocketed by 145% in 2020, and 80% of youth report being bullied or verbally harassed.
Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D., is involved in the BOBA Project, a study that will fill a critical gap in the science of how discrimination affects Asian American adolescent mental health. The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health and led by Dr. Cindy Liu, director of the Developmental Risk and Cultural Resilience Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Dr. Tiffany Yip of Fordham University.
Charmaraman and her colleagues are following 350 Chinese American adolescents, their Chinese heritage parent, and a peer to investigate the effects of discrimination experiences, discrimination responses, and racial socialization processes on adolescent mental health and chronic stress. The long-term objective is to develop evidence on how parents, peers, and social media can be leveraged to mitigate the negative health consequences of discrimination. Charmaraman and her Youth, Media & Wellbeing Research Lab are focused on understanding the racial socialization processes that take place within peer relationships, particularly on social media.
This work is supported by the National Institutes of Health: R01MH129360.