Women in refugee camps: Which coping resources help them to adapt?

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19 Scopus citations


The present study aimed to explore the coping resources and mental health of women who have fled Syria to a neighboring European country. To that end, we examined the roles of sociodemographic factors, situational factors, and personal and community sense of coherence (SOC and ComSOC, respectively) in mental-health outcomes. One hundred and eleven refugee women aged 19–70 filled out self-reported questionnaires during August 2018 in a refugee camp in Greece. The questionnaires asked the participants for demographic information (i.e., age, level of education level, and time spent in the camp) and also addressed the situational factors of having received aid from various organizations, appraisal of danger during the war in Syria, and exposure to war experiences, as well as the coping resources of SOC and ComSOC. The results show that time spent in the camp, appraisal of danger, SOC, and ComSOC all play significant roles in predicting the variance of various mental-health outcomes. Together, those factors predict 56% of anxiety, 53% of depression, and 58% of somatization. SOC was also found to mediate the relationships between time spent in the camp and outcome variables, as well as the relationships between the appraisal of danger and the outcome variables. This indicates that SOC is crucial for good adaptation. These results will be discussed in light of the salutogenic theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3990
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2019


  • Coping
  • Mental health
  • Refugees
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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