Telling the untold stories: Disrupting racism in children’s mental health resources through the narratives of East Asian parents

  • Author / Creator
    Louie-Poon, Samantha P
  • Background: Evidence suggests that anti-Asian racism has a distinct impact on the mental health of East Asian children. There is a pressing need to develop child mental health resources for East Asian parents within the Canadian context. While health equity and anti-racism scholars across the globe have advanced our understanding of anti-Asian racism, exploring experiences of East Asian parents in Canada and their perspectives of anti-Asian racism and anti-racism strategies within the field of knowledge translation (KT) remains limited. Telling the untold stories of East Asian parents may help forge an anti-racist mental health future and act as a site of resistance for East Asian diasporas in Canada.

    Purpose: The present dissertation simultaneously deconstructs racism while working towards reconstruction through anti-racism strategies as a way to promote racial justice for East Asian diasporas in child health research. The objectives of my multi-phase dissertation are to: a) engage nursing and healthcare theoretical foundations toward a moral commitment in anti- racism, b) document the impact of racism and the mental health of East Asian diasporas, and c) develop anti-racism strategies for child mental health knowledge translation resources specific for East Asian parents.

    Methods: This multi-phase dissertation was conducted using three studies. The multi-phase studies included: a) a theoretical exploration to examine the extent to which nursing’s theoretical foundation (in)advertently advances racism, b) a scoping review to systematically synthesize existing literature on racism and the mental health of East Asian populations, and c) a narrative inquiry study to collect East Asian parents’ counter-narratives and perspectives of racism and anti-racism strategies in mental health.

    Findings: The theoretical exploration found the importance for future nursing and healthcare scholarship to avoid using existing theoretical underpinnings that lack a focus on racism as the foundation for developing anti-racism solutions. The scoping review identified several gaps in the literature, including the limited articles within the Canadian context, within the children population, utilizing a qualitative approach, targeting mental healthcare resources and services, and addressing anti-racism solutions. The narrative inquiry study found that the concept of otherness across time and space was a significant component to East Asian parents’ stories of racism. East Asian parents were labelled as a ‘perpetual foreigner,’ a label that was unconsciously accepted within society, in addition to having their reality linked to a set of conditional principles governed by the system of white supremacy. It was recommended that anti-racism solutions need to address power imbalances and how child mental health KT resources are developed. The findings highlighted that despite good intentions, a researcher without lived experiences may lack the capacity to fully understand East Asian situations, and therefore, underscoring notions of epistemic racism and silencing of East Asian voices.

    Conclusion: This dissertation fostered a space of empowerment for East Asian people to reclaim their narratives as a strategy to promote racial justice within the child mental healthcare system. Intentionally creating a space to amplify these systemically oppressed narratives actively challenges dominant conditions sustaining anti-Asian racism and its impacts on mental health. This dissertation provided as another gateway into the collective healing and liberation of East Asian people against centuries of anti-Asian racism in Canada.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2023
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.