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The Mental State of Asian Californians in a State of Diversity

A new statewide survey will poll Asian Californians’ experiences of violence and discrimination.

For social scientists and researchers of all stripes, California presents a particularly daunting challenge. It is arguably the most diverse state in the nation, with no race or ethnic group constituting a majority of the population: Latinos comprise the largest single entity at 39%, with white following at 35%.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are next, comprising 15%. That lower percentage can equate to less focused research and insights into their specific status and needs. In an effort to address that shortcoming, the AAPI Data program at UC Riverside has announced a series of grants totaling $1.1 million to five UC campuses.

Among the funded projects is “Statewide Behavioral Surveillance on Asian Californians’ Experiences of Violence and Discrimination and Their Impacts on Mental Health,” which will be led by Anita Raj, PhD, professor in both the departments of Medicine and Education Studies and director of the Center on Gender Equity and Health at UC San Diego. With colleagues, Raj will conduct a community-based participatory research study involving a survey with a statewide sample of Asian Californians to understand their experiences with racial/ethnic discrimination and violence.

Scott LaFee