Resource loss and coping strategies used by internally displaced women in Georgia: A qualitative study

Seguin, ML; (2016) Resource loss and coping strategies used by internally displaced women in Georgia: A qualitative study. PhD thesis, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. DOI:

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Background: There is a lack of research on loss and coping among conflict-affected populations, especially on women specifically. Moreover, this topic has yet to be explored in the Republic of Georgia. The overall aim of the thesis is to explore resource loss and coping strategies among internally displaced women in Georgia. Methods: A systematic literature review on coping strategies amongst conflict-affected persons in low- and middle-income countries was completed, followed by qualitative field research in Georgia during which 40 semi-structured interviews with internally displaced women were conducted. Hobfoll’s Conservation of Resources Theory (1989) and Skinner et al. (2003)’s coping typology were drawn upon to guide the analysis and interpretation of information gleaned on losses and coping respectively. Findings: The systematic review revealed that gender and exposure to trauma influenced coping efforts. The relationship between coping and mental health outcomes was nuanced, with support seeking and problem solving showing mostly protective effects. Displacement and the loss of property it entailed led to the loss of livelihood, which lead to the loss of social networks, as well as mental and physical health losses. The women reported a range of coping strategies, including problem solving techniques, seeking support from friends, family, and neighbours, escape-avoidance techniques, distraction strategies, and cognitive restructuring approaches. Key differences in the coping behaviours of men and women in the areas of problem solving, support seeking, and escape-avoidance and distraction were evident. Conclusion: Initial losses due to conflict and displacement may lead to subsequent losses unfolding over time, rendering internally displaced persons potentially vulnerable to the effects of conflict years after the formal cessation of hostilities. The participants in this study reported a plethora of strategies employed to offset such losses. A number of research and policy recommendations are provided based on the thesis findings.

Item Type: Thesis
Thesis Type: Doctoral
Thesis Name: PhD
Contributors: Roberts, B (Thesis advisor);
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Copyright Holders: Maureen Seguin


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