Physical, Mental, and Social Well-being in Syria and 162 Countries from 2006-2016


Citation:

Cheung, F., Kube, A., Tay, L., Diener, E., Jackson, J. J., Lucas, R. E., Ni, M. Y., & Leung, G. M. (2020). Physical, mental, and social well-being in Syria and 162 countries from 2006-2016. Revise and resubmit, Nature Communications, in press.


Abstract:

The United Nations described the Syrian conflict as the worst man-made disaster since World War II. We adopted a global perspective in examining the impact of the Syrian conflict on Syrians’ physical, mental, and social well-being using the Gallup World Poll. Face-to-face interview data of 11,452 Syrian participants from 2008 to 2015 show that Syrians’ physical (e.g., access to shelter), mental (e.g., life satisfaction), and social (e.g., social support) wellbeing decline substantially. Syrians who reported being exposed to the conflict are similarly affected compared to those without direct exposure, suggesting country-wide spillover effects. Global data covering 1.7 million participants across 163 countries from 2006 to 2016 show during the conflict, Syria’s precipitous decline in well-being is unparalleled in the world, even when compared to countries similarly experiencing war, protests, and disasters. Our findings reinforce the vital importance of an accelerated peace process to restore wellbeing in Syria.


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