Discrimination and Well-Being among Asians/Asian Americans during COVID-19: The Role of Social Media

Chia Chen Yang, Jiun Yi Tsai, Shuya Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Asians and Asian Americans have been experiencing an uptick of discrimination. With most people experiencing months of lockdowns, social media may become a particularly important tool in Asian people's coping with discrimination. Grounded in the multiactivity framework of social media use, this study explored whether experience with discrimination was associated with more social media use among Asian people and how adaptive social media use was for their well-being during COVID-19. A sample of 242 Asians/Asian Americans residing in the United States (Mage = 32.88, SD = 11.13; 48 percent female) completed an online survey. Results showed that more experience of discrimination during COVID-19 was associated with more engagement in social media private messaging, posting/commenting, and browsing, but the activities yielded different implications for subjective well-being. Both social media private messaging and posting/commenting were associated with more perceived social support, which contributed to better subjective well-being. Social media posting/commenting was also related to better subjective well-being through lower worry about discrimination. In contrast, social media browsing was associated with poorer subjective well-being through more worry about discrimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-870
Number of pages6
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • COVID-19
  • coping
  • discrimination
  • social media
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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