Quality of Life Research

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 1381–1391 | Cite as

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

  • 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.


Health-related quality of life Stress Insecurity West Bank Jordan Conflict 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Management and Informatics, College of Health and Public AffairsUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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