Grand Challenges: An Innovative Intervention to Help Asian American Families Cope with Racism and Mental Health Difficulties
Racism and the experience of subsequent mental health difficulties represent a grand challenge for Asian American families. A recent report from the Pew Research Center (2021) found that 81% of Asian American adults felt that the violence against them has been increasing during COVID-19, and 32% said they feared “someone might threaten or physically attack them.” Repeated research has shown that racism significantly predicted more mental health difficulties for Asian American parents and youth. To address this, this project is developing an 8-session culturally sensitive intervention involving both parents and youth to help Asian American families talk about racism and mental health, promote positive parenting practices, and support Asian American youth to cope with racism and mental health difficulties associated with it. The project is providing the intervention with 50 Asian American families and collecting data from them at pre-, post-intervention, and conducting a 6-month follow up to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. This intervention is innovative because no known interventions have focused on both Asian American parents and youth to address racism and related mental health difficulties. This project will significantly benefit Asian American families by promoting parents’ ability to support youth who experience racism and positive parenting practice (e.g., parental support and parent ethnic racial socialization), as well as adolescents’ social emotional assets, resilience, coping, and mental health. In addition, this project will provide valuable new opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in meaningful applied research to address social and racial injustice in the community.