Project SAFER

Strengthening Asian American Families’ Excellence & Resilience during COVID-19

Resilience and Racial Identity of Asian-American Families in face of the COVID-19 pandemic

This interdisciplinary team comprising of a cultural developmental scientist, Charissa Cheah (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), a school psychologist, Cixin Wang (University of Maryland, College Park), and a computer scientist, Shimei Pan (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and their research teams, are using surveys and interviews to understand the experiences of Chinese American families during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Protective factors for adjustment in parents and children will also be identified. In addition, we are analyzing large-scale texts of outbreak-related social media (Twitter) posts to account for how public opinion, anxiety, and discriminatory attitudes evolve with the peaking and fading of this epidemic and provide objective indicators of the larger public social discourse climate across one year.

Our study findings will reveal key developmental and social processes in how both racial minority parents and their children’s identities are formed in reaction to an acute but prolonged threat to their social identities resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak as it peaks and wanes over the course of a year.  Knowledge from this research can help health educators, providers, and policymakers proactively provide services and implement policies that educate and promote well-being in targeted marginalized groups and the larger public during future similar events.

Project SAFER is funded by an NSF Grant Titled: RAPID: Influences of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak on Racial Discrimination, Identity Development and Socialization.

Research Findings

Dr. Cheah co-authored the 2020 SRCD statement of the evidence brief:

Considerations for Asian American Children and Youth in the Era of COVID-19


COVID-19 Racism and Mental Health in Chinese American Families

Read the report on our first set of findings:

COVID-19 Racism and Racial Discrimination Experienced by Chinese American Families


COVID-19 Racism Remains High and is More Strongly Associated with Chinese American Families‘ Mental Health in 2021

COVID-19 Racism Impacts the Mental Health of Chinese American Families


Click here for Project SAFER in the media

Helpful Resources

Click here for Our List of COVID-19 Resources for Participating Families



Want to participate in Project SAFER? E-mail us at:


Cixin Wang, Ph.D. (School Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park)

Shimei Pan, Ph.D. (Department of Information Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County)