The Psychosocial Impact of Polygamous Marriages on Palestinian Women Academic Article uri icon


  • A convenience snowball sample of 187 women (100 senior or first wives, 87 junior or second wives) in polygamous marriages and living in refugee camps outside Gaza City completed questionnaires on basic demographic data, Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem (SE), and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). Senior and junior wives experienced crowded housing conditions. Senior wives perceived having significantly more economic problems than did junior wives. Statistically significant differences occurred in perceived relationship satisfaction, with junior wives less dissatisfied than senior wives. Significant differences occurred in five dimensions of the BSI: somatization, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, and phobic anxiety, with senior wives scoring higher than junior wives on all subscales. Self-esteem scores were significantly lower among senior than junior wives. Sociodemographic and psychological findings are analyzed in relation to socioeconomic, interpersonal, and intra-familial stressors, and social policy contexts. [Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-342-9678. E-mail address: Website: 2001 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.]

publication date

  • January 1, 2001