Social work practice with polygamous families

Alean Al-Krenawi, John R. Graham, Salem Al-Krenawi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Data are based on student files of 25 Bedouin-Arab children born to senior mothers of polygamous families, and interviews with the children's teachers and mothers. Mothers complained of somatic symptoms, economic problems, poor relations with the husband, and competition and jealousy between the co-wives and among the co-wives' children. Children had a variety of behavioural problems, and below average academic achievement. Social work practice should recognize the cultural and personal significance of polygamy to family members; appreciate the significance of polygamy to children's functioning; select children as a target system for intervention; and reinforce the Islamic value base for interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-458
Number of pages14
JournalChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997


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