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05-02-2018 | Uitgave 5/2018

Quality of Life Research 5/2018

Conflict and well-being: a comparative study of health-related quality of life, stress, and insecurity of university students in the West Bank and Jordan

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 5/2018
Yara M. Asi, Lynn Unruh, Xinliang Liu



A significant body of research indicates that the conflict environment is detrimental to the quality of life and well-being of civilians. This study assesses the health-related quality of life, stress, and insecurity of the West Bank, which has been engaged in conflict for seven decades, in comparison to a demographically and culturally similar population in Jordan, a neighboring nation with no conflict. We expect the Jordanian sample to report better functioning.


We collected 793 surveys from university students (mean age = 20.2) in Nablus, West Bank (398 [50.2%]) and Irbid, Jordan (395 [49.8%]). The survey instrument consisted of the SF-36 to measure HRQoL, the PSS-4 to measure stress, and an insecurity scale, along with demographic characteristics.


Our findings indicate that outcomes in the West Bank were not significantly worse than in Jordan, and in some cases represented better functioning, especially in the SF-36 measures.


Our counterintuitive results suggest that health and well-being outcomes are dependent on many factors in addition to conflict. For one, it may be that the better perceived health and well-being of the Palestinians is because they have developed a culture of resilience. Additionally, Jordanians are undergoing a period of instability due to internal struggles and surrounding conflicts.

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