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Compounding inequalities: Adolescent psychosocial wellbeing and resilience among refugee and host communities in Jordan during the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal issue/article

Written by Nicola Jones

Image credit:© Nathalie Bertrams/GAGE

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated risk-mitigation strategies have altered the social contexts in which adolescents in low- and middle-income countries live. We investigate the extent to which the pandemic has compounded pre-existing social inequalities among adolescents in Jordan, and the role support structures play in promoting resilience. Our analysis leverages longitudinal quantitative survey data and in-depth qualitative interviews, with over 3,000 Syrian refugees, stateless Palestinians and vulnerable Jordanians, living in camps, host communities and informal tented settlements.

The pandemic has resulted in severe economic and service disruptions with far-reaching and heterogenous effects on adolescent wellbeing. Pre-existing social inequalities among refugee adolescents affected by forced displacement have been compounded, with related disruptions to services and social networks. To achieve Sustainable Development Goal targets requires interventions that target the urgent needs of the most vulnerable adolescents while addressing population-level root causes and determinants of psychosocial wellbeing and resilience for all adolescent girls and boys.

Authors: Nicola Jones, Sarah Baird, Bassam Abu Hamad, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Erin Oakley, Manisha Shah, Jude Sajdi and Kathryn M. Yount