Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Second Department

Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Conor O'Dea

Second Advisor

Megan Ferry


COVID-19, Asian Americans, Sense of belonging, Racist language, Blame, Discrimination, Racial Slurs, Prejudice


We conducted a study to test our hypothesis that racist language and blame related to the COVID-19 pandemic might have a negative impact on Asian Americans’ sense of belonging in the United States. We presented Asian American participants (total N = 271) with a non-racist or racist language flier, paired with a low blame or high blame passage of text with fabricated statistics about how much the average White American blames Asian Americans for the COVID-19 pandemic. We predicted that participants in the racist language and high blame condition would report greater perceived increases in prejudice since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, greater discomfort when interacting with White Americans, greater fear, greater negative esteem, and lower sense of belonging compared to participants in the non-racist language and low blame condition. Generally, there were small to weak effects of language/blame condition on our dependent variables. However, we did find that greater perceived increases in prejudice since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic were strongly associated with lower sense of belonging, greater discomfort, greater fear, and greater negative esteem suggesting that the increases in prejudice Asian Americans feel have negatively impacted their lived experiences in the United States since the start of the pandemic.

Included in

Psychology Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.