Asian American University Students’ Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed Methods Study

Jacqueline Hwang, Fordham University


The COVID-19 outbreak caused global disruptions in all aspects of life. Social distancing regulations were enforced in an attempt to halt virus spread. University students faced unprecedented challenges and stressors, especially Asian American students due to COVID-19-associated xenophobic attitudes, harassment, and assault against people of Asian complexions. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine the experiences, coping, stress, and adjustment of Asian American students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondary analyses were conducted on the survey responses of 207 participants (n = 103 Asian American university students, n = 104 non-Asian American students) from a larger-scale study focused on adaptation to the university, perceived stress, ways of coping, and COVID-19 specific factors. A series of independent samples t-tests and regression analyses showed significant relationships between some university adjustment factors, ways of coping methods, and race with perceived stress and COVID-19 factors. Four case studies were also presented to explore the ways in which Asian American university students’ experiences during the pandemic changed their view of their identity as Asian Americans. Secondary analyses of two waves of interviews and analysis of a newly conducted third wave yielded 12 themes across four categories capturing the essence of the Asian American university student’s experiences and redefining their identity during the pandemic: Experiences and Events During the Pandemic, Categorization of Asians in America, Confronting Asian Discrimination, and Renewed Sense of Identity. Implications, limitations, and ideas for future directions in research are discussed.

Subject Area

Psychology|Asian American Studies

Recommended Citation

Hwang, Jacqueline, "Asian American University Students’ Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed Methods Study" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29397737.