Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Becca Levy

Second Advisor

Grace Kao


Older adults in the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community faced heightened levels of violence and discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, little is known about the factors driving Asian-specific violence. This study investigated if individuals who attributed COVID-19 to stable factors and anything related to China were more likely to commit violence against older Asian adults. From April 23 to May 5 2020, a survey was conducted with 1498 American individuals (M = 55.19 years, SD = 17.97 years) using two online platforms. Participants who made stable attributions about the origin of COVID-19 were significantly more likely to show a proclivity to commit violent behaviors against older Asian adults. For every unit increase in the degree of stability of COVID-19 attributions made, the odds of committing Asian-specific violence increased by 84.2%. Compared to participants who did not make COVID-19 attributions related to China, those who attributed COVID-19 to anything related to China had 1.91 times the odds of reporting they would commit Asian-specific violence. There is a pertinent need to stem violence against the AAPI community by exercising nuance in COVID-19 related messaging. Future research directions on anti-Asian violence are discussed.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access