Asian in the Time of COVID-19: Creating a Social Work Agenda for Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

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Social Work

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COVID-19 (Disease)


The health of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities remains an understudied area of racial/ethnic minority research in the United States, and even more so in the field of social work. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how AAPI health and social welfare issues have not received adequate attention in social policy, social work practice, and research. Contrary to model minority myths, AAPIs are subject to racialized attitudes and discrimination, which have been associated with adverse physical and mental health outcomes, including increased anxiety, depression, and suicidality. Drawing from the theoretical framework of AsianCrit, which is grounded in critical race theory, authors analyze health disparities among AAPI communities as reflected in COVID-19 hospitalizations and fatalities, as well as increases in acts of anti-Asian racism and xenophobia. Better understanding health disparities of AAPI communities needs to be a key research issue for social workers in future years. The authors conclude by offering a short set of recommendations to improve social policy, social work practice, and research to more aptly address contemporary social issues impacting AAPI communities.


© 2021 National Association of Social Workers



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