The psychosocial impact of polygamous marriages on Palestinian women

A. Al-Krenawi, J. Graham, A. Izzeldin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


A convenience snowball sample of 187 women (100 senior or first wives, 87 junior or second wives) in polygamous marriages and living in refugee camps outside Gaza City completed questionnaires on basic demographic data, Rosenberg's Self-Esteem (SE), and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). Senior and junior wives experienced crowded housing conditions. Senior wives perceived having significantly more economic problems than did junior wives. Statistically significant differences occurred in perceived relationship satisfaction, with junior wives less dissatisfied than senior wives. Significant differences occurred in five dimensions of the BSI: somatization, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, and phobic anxiety, with senior wives scoring higher than junior wives on all subscales. Self-esteem scores were significantly lower among senior than junior wives. Socio-demographic and psychological findings are analyzed in relation to socio-economic, interpersonal, and intra-familial stressors, and social policy contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • Arab-Palestinian
  • Polygamy
  • Poverty
  • Psychological symptoms
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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