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


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.

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Correspondence to Diana M. Kingsbury.

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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.

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

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Kingsbury, D.M., Bhatta, M.P., Castellani, B. et al. Factors Associated with the Presence of Strong Social Supports in Bhutanese Refugee Women During Pregnancy. J Immigrant Minority Health 21, 837–843 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-018-0790-x

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  • Refugee health
  • Maternal and child health
  • Social support
  • Public health