Li Explores Perceptions on Asian American Individuals and Implications on Mental Health at APA 2023 Convention
Shujianing Li, advised by Rich Lee, presented in a poster session at the APA 2023 Convention in Washington DC on August 3-5. Li’s project was on the consistency between how Asian Americans perceive their racial group and their beliefs about how others see them. Research indicates that people outside of the Asian American community tend to stereotype them as competent but cold; Asian Americans who see their community differently could experience psychological distress as a result.
In the study, 250 Asian American adults were surveyed about their own perceptions of Asian Americans’ warmth and competence as well as how they believed society views these traits. The participant’s mental health, such as depression, anxiety, and general emotions, was also assessed. The results revealed that, compared to their own views, Asian Americans believed society views their race as more competent but cold. The discrepancy in perceived competence, in particular, predicted some negative outcomes like anxiety and negative emotions. However, these differences were not statistically significant after applying appropriate statistical corrections. Further research will be needed to better understand being accurately understood by others as a protective factor against mental health issues.
Shujianing Li, PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota.
Composed by Madison Stromberg, communications assistant.