Risk and Protective Factors among Palestinian Women Living in a Context of Prolonged Armed Conflict and Political Oppression


Veronese, Guido, Federica Cavazzoni, Sabrina Russo, and Cindy Sousa. 2019. "Risk and Protective Factors among Palestinian Women Living in a Context of Prolonged Armed Conflict and Political Oppression." Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi:10.1177/0886260519865960.

Authors: Guido Veronese, Federica Cavazzoni, Sabrina Russo, Cindy Sousa


Research has widely documented the effects of war and political violence on the functioning and well-being of adults and children. Yet, within this literature, women’s agency in the face of war-related adversity and political violence remains underexplored. The present study was conducted in the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the most recent war on Gaza in 2014, with the aim of investigating the consequences of war and political violence for women’s mental health and psychological functioning. Based on interviews with 21 Palestinian women exposed to extreme war-related traumatic events, the article offers an analysis of the risk and protective factors affecting their well-being and enhancing (or diminishing) their agency. Human Security, Family Ties, Psychosocial Resources, Individual Resources, and Moterhood emerged from the women’s narratives as key factors contributing to the maintenance of positive psychological functioning and the ability to adjust to traumatic war events in the aftermath of acute armed conflict. These exploratory findings suggest that Palestinian women display a high level of functioning and resources for adjustment that is preserved after periods of devastating armed conflict. The study draws attention to a set of protective factors for the well-being of women and their families when living with chronic political violence.

Keywords: women, war, political oppression, risk and protective factors

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2019

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