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Starting Over From Scratch: Social Support and Youth Coping With Internal Displacement

Makhoul, Jihad DrPH; Ghanem, Mary MPH; Barbir, Farah MPH

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0b013e31822b54f9
Issues Related to Family and Community Health

This article presents findings from a qualitative research study with daughters of internally displaced families, more than a decade and half after the end of the Lebanese civil war. In-depth interviews with these adolescent girls indicate that in the absence of universal coverage of social security nets for the Lebanese, the effects of impoverishment and continuous mobility in the suburbs have adverse effects on their sense of stability, schooling, and coping. The article argues that although the effects of impoverishment are not new to similar urban youth populations, the quality of social support networks (ties to rural areas and support from welfare agency services) is a determining factor in the way they cope with adversity. Implications for policy are also presented.

Department of Health Promotion and Community Health, American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Correspondence: Jihad Makhoul, DrPH, Department of Health Promotion and Community Health, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon (jm04@aub.edu.lb).

The study was funded by IDRC to support this and other research undertaken by members of the Arab Families Working Group, which the first author is affiliated.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.