Coping with trauma and adversity among Palestinians in the Gaza Strip: A qualitative, culture-informed analysis

J Health Psychol. 2020 Oct;25(12):2031-2048. doi: 10.1177/1359105318785697. Epub 2018 Jul 5.


In this article, we propose that coping is not only an individual property but also a structural feature. Coping shapes what is referred to in social network theory as multiplex networks, which are based on relations with multiple functions, values and meanings. Focus groups with adult Palestinians were held and content analysed. Five main coping strategies were identified: (a) creating cultural and religious meaning; (b) individualism to collectivism; (c) normalization and habituation; (d) belonging, acceptance, expectation and readiness; and (e) social support. Participants also reported culture-specific expressions for indicating psychological distress. Implications for cultural informed clinical work are then discussed.

Keywords: clinical health psychology; coping; culture; trauma; war and political violence.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Arabs*
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Middle East
  • Warfare*