Acute Discrimination and East Asian-White Mental Health Gap during COVID-19 in Canada

10 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2020

See all articles by Cary Wu

Cary Wu

York University

Rima Wilkes

University of British Columbia

Yue Qian

University of British Columbia

Eric B. Kennedy

York University

Date Written: June 13, 2020

Abstract

Since the COVID-19 outbreak started in China, Chinese and Chinese looking East Asian Canadians have experienced more racist attacks, violence, and discrimination. In this article, we consider whether East Asian Canadians face a disproportionate mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and, if so, whether the increased levels of discrimination explain this differential impact. Analyzing data from a nationally representative survey we conducted in March and April, 2020, we indeed find that higher incidences of acute discrimination encountered by East Asian Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic explain their higher levels of mental health symptoms as compared to white Canadians. We call for a need to include mental health interventions and support designed specifically to address the needs of the East Asian Canadians in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, mental health, East Asian Canadians

Suggested Citation

Wu, Cary and Wilkes, Rima and Qian, Yue and Kennedy, Eric B., Acute Discrimination and East Asian-White Mental Health Gap during COVID-19 in Canada (June 13, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3626460 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3626460

Cary Wu (Contact Author)

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Rima Wilkes

University of British Columbia ( email )

2329 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z4
Canada
6044996362 (Phone)
V6T 1Z1 (Fax)

Yue Qian

University of British Columbia ( email )

2329 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z4
Canada
6044996362 (Phone)
V6T 1Z1 (Fax)

Eric B. Kennedy

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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