COVID-19 and the Chinese Community

The COVID-19 Mobility Project: The COVID-19 Mobility Project is examining risk perception, prevention behaviours, and the impact of the pandemic on individual mobility patterns. The CIHR-funded project is led by researchers from Ryerson University (Dr. Lu Wang and Dr. Lixia Yang) and Queen’s University (Dr. Dongmei Chen). It has been reviewed and approved by the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board [REB 2020-206].

The COVID-19 Impact on Chinese Immigrants (Stage Two): The survey is funded through CIHR and has received ethics approval from the Memorial University of Newfoundland (20201772-ME) and Ryerson University (REB 2020-328;REB2020-132). The leading researchers are Dr. Peizhong Wang (Memorial University of Neufoundland), Dr. Lixia Yang (Ryerson University), Dr. Weiguo Zhang and Dr. Xioalin Wei (University of Toronto). The survey intends to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Chinese living in North America (e.g., Canada), including attitudes, cognition, and behavioral measures, and psychological responses. The results will shed light on the effective measures restricting the spread of the disease and inform the policy making of the related Public Health organizations to best support the Chinese community during the pandemic.

The Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 In the Chinese Community: The large NFRF-funded CIHR research program aims: 1) to assess Chinese immigrants’ knowledge, attitudes/beliefs, and protection practices toward the COVID-19; 2) to evaluate the effectiveness and identify the specific needs of the currently on-going self-support volunteer programs; and 3) to assess the psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three studies will be conducted, each address one of the three aforementioned objectives. Study 1 will adopt an on-line survey to gather information on the knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral responses to COVID-19. Study 2 will adopt an interview to assess the volunteer programs in the GTA Chinese communities. Study 3 will adopt an on-line survey and an individual Zoom interview to assess the psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Dr. Yang is the PI on Study 3. It has two specific objectives: 1) to assess the psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak; and 2) to identify individual and environmental predictors for the psychological impacts of the COVID-19 in the GTA Chinese community. An on-line survey and an individual zoom interview will be conducted to address these questions.

Crossing the Cultural Bridge (CCB): Acculturation and Wellbeing in Older Chinese Immigrants during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The current project addresses the following aims: 1) to identify salient factors predicting acculturation; 2) to examine the role of acculturation in engagement; and 3) to examine the role of acculturation wellbeing among older Chinese immigrants.  Given the current situation of the COVID-19 outbreak, this project will address all these questions in light of the COVID-19 which exerts much mental and social stress on Chinese older adult population, a most vulnerable population given its age and close cultural tie to China.  

The Psychosocial and Cognitive Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Older Adults: The current study aims to understand how the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic relates to older adults’ psychosocial and cognitive functioning. The psychological impact of a pandemic may increase feelings of depression, anxiety, and trauma symptoms, potentially exacerbated by feelings of loneliness caused by social distancing and isolation. Disruptions in performing community activities due to safety precautions (i.e., reduced hours, longer wait times) could negatively affect the functional independence of older adults.  Negative psychosocial effects of the pandemic may be influenced by different coping strategies, which may also be moderated by executive function. The researcher hypothesizes that increase feelings of loneliness and psychological distress, decreased engagement in daily activities, and avoidant-style coping strategies will be related to decreased performances on executive functioning tasks in older adults. Data will be collected through an online experiment which will include an online survey that will assess feelings of loneliness, level of depression/anxiety, coping strategies, changes in engagement with daily activities, and adherence to COVID-19 safety protocol; and a cognitive task component which will assess cognitive performance in executive functioning.