Factors Associated with the Presence of Strong Social Supports in Bhutanese Refugee Women During Pregnancy

  • Diana M. KingsburyEmail author
  • Madhav P. Bhatta
  • Brian Castellani
  • Aruna Khanal
  • Eric Jefferis
  • Jeffrey S. Hallam
Original Paper


Social support may mitigate stress related to the refugee experience, including during resettlement. For refugee women, social support can play an important role during pregnancy. In-depth interviews were conducted within a sample of 45 Bhutanese refugee women. Perceived social support was measured using the Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire. Averaged social support scores are reported to account for personal network size. Participants were identified as “low support” and “high support” based on their reported score. The mean social support score reported was 18.9. Participants experiencing a secondary resettlement within the U.S. were 4.52 (95% CI 1.19–17.15) times as likely to report a “high support” network compared to participants who resettled directly from Nepal. Personal social networks are an important source of support for resettled refugee women during pregnancy in the U.S.. Refugee women who experience secondary resettlement may perceive stronger support from their personal connections.


Refugee health Maternal and child health Social support Public health 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana M. Kingsbury
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Madhav P. Bhatta
    • 1
  • Brian Castellani
    • 2
  • Aruna Khanal
    • 1
  • Eric Jefferis
    • 1
  • Jeffrey S. Hallam
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Public HealthKent State UniversityKentUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyKent State UniversityKentUSA
  3. 3.Northeast Ohio Medical UniversityRootstownUSA

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