Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 118–125 | Cite as

Imprisoned Husbands: Palestinian Wives and Experiences of Difficulties

  • Amer Shehadeh
  • Sama Dawani
  • Mohammed Saed
  • Ilse Derluyn
  • Gerrit Loots
Brief Report


This study aimed to investigate difficulties experienced by the wives of Palestinian men arrested and held in Israeli prisons. 16 captives’ wives were interviewed using a semi-structured interview to provide them with a greater opportunity to speak about their experiences. Three main research questions were discussed; community difficulties, social support, and coping strategies. A thematic analysis was used throughout the interviews. We concluded that in addition to the stress of being separated from their husbands, the frustrating visitation process to prison and the ongoing political conflict, the wives expressed a frustrating social network characterized by constant interferences in their personal lives and the choices they make. Most women expressed a lack in psychosocial support given through governmental and non-governmental organizations; in addition they expressed a need for that kind of support. Coping strategies ranged from religious, acceptance, distraction, to planning strategies.


Captives’ wives Social support Community difficulties Coping strategies Visiting process 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amer Shehadeh
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Sama Dawani
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Mohammed Saed
    • 5
  • Ilse Derluyn
    • 6
  • Gerrit Loots
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
  1. 1.Research Group Interpersonal, Discursive and Narrative Studies (IDNS), Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations (CCVS)Vrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Clinical and Lifespan PsychologyVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Ministry of Education, Directorate of EducationBethlehemPalestine
  4. 4.Department of Social and Behavioral ScienceBirzeit UniversityBirzeitPalestine
  5. 5.Master in LinguisticsVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  6. 6.Department of Social Welfare Studies & Centre for Children in Vulnerable SituationsGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  7. 7.Departamento de PsicologíaUniversidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo” La Paz Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias del Compartamiento (IICC)La PazBolivia

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