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Williams College

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Jordan: Refugees, Health, and Humanitarian Action


Many women suffer from postpartum depression; migrant women experience postpartum depression at rates almost triple that of the general population. This study investigated the associations between perceived social support and postpartum depression among Syrian refugee mothers living in Amman, Jordan. Eleven mothers completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), and the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL) - Shortened Version. Four of those mothers also participated in individual interviews, and four others were included in a focus group. Multiple recurring themes were identified from the interviews and focus group, including: perceived differences in child and social support in Syria versus Jordan, lack of freedom of movement, legal status as refugees drains psychological wellbeing, issues related to children’s ages, the improving situation and the resilience of refugee mothers, and suggestions for improving support systems. In addition, while no significant correlations were found between social support and PPD or between PPD and demographic factors from quantitative analyses, significant correlations were found between social support and demographic factors, including: marital status, age at marriage, number of locations lived in Jordan, and whether or not participants were still in contact with their children’s caretakers.


Arabic Studies | Health Policy | Maternal and Child Health | Mental and Social Health | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Women's Health | Women's Studies


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