Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The Personal Social Networks of Resettled Bhutanese Refugees During Pregnancy in the United States: A Social Network Analysis

Kingsbury, Diana; Bhatta, Madhav; Castellani, Brian; Khanal, Aruna; Jefferis, Eric; Hallam, Jeffery


Diana Kingsbury

Madhav Bhatta

Aruna Khanal

Eric Jefferis

Jeffery Hallam


Women comprise 50% of the refugee population, 25% of whom are of reproductive age. Female refugees are at risk for experiencing significant hardships associated with the refugee experience, including after resettlement. For refugee women, the strength of their personal social networks can play an important role in mitigating the stress of resettlement and can be an influential source of support during specific health events, such as pregnancy. A personal social network analysis was conducted among 45 resettled Bhutanese refugee women who had given birth within the past 2 years in the Akron Metropolitan Area of Northeast Ohio. Data were collected using in-depth interviews conducted in Nepali over a 6-month period in 2016. Size, demographic characteristics of ties, frequency of communication, length of relationship, and strength of connection were the social network measures used to describe the personal networks of participants. A qualitative analysis was also conducted to assess what matters were commonly discussed within networks and how supportive participants perceived their networks to be. Overall, participants reported an average of 3 close personal connections during their pregnancy. The networks were comprised primarily of female family members whom the participant knew prior to resettlement in the U.S. Participants reported their networks as “very close” and perceived their connections to be supportive of them during their pregnancies. These results may be used to guide future research, as well as public health programming, that seeks to improve the pregnancy experiences of resettled refugee women.


Kingsbury, D., Bhatta, M., Castellani, B., Khanal, A., Jefferis, E., & Hallam, J. (2018). The Personal Social Networks of Resettled Bhutanese Refugees During Pregnancy in the United States: A Social Network Analysis. Journal of Community Health, 43(6), 1028-1036.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 25, 2018
Publication Date 2018-12
Deposit Date Sep 24, 2018
Journal Journal of Community Health
Print ISSN 0094-5145
Electronic ISSN 1573-3610
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 6
Pages 1028-1036
Publisher URL