Coping Strategies of Female Return Migrants Settled in East and West Arsi Zones of Ethiopia


  • Kassim Kimo Arsi University
  • Gezahegn Gurmu Arsi University


Coping strategy, return migrants, stress


The study was intended to assess coping strategies that the women return migrants had used to overcome stressors encountered following their return from Arab countries. Descriptive research design was employed for the present study. The study participants were 147 female individuals sampled from 238 return migrants settled in East and West Arsi Zones of Oromia Regional State in Ethiopia. The Brief COPE Scale (Carver, 1997) was used to assess different coping behaviors and thoughts the individuals had employed in response to stressors. Results indicated that half of the return migrants had employed self distracting coping strategy to respond to their stressors. About fifty percent of them had relied on religion to get relief from stressors. In terms of the composite subscales, about fifty-four percent of them had employed problem focused coping in trying to react to stressors; while, fifty-one percent of them had employed dysfunctional coping strategy. The number of the participants whose reaction was emotion focused were forty-six percent. The overall data on the total scale showed that fifty-seven of the return migrants had more than average score indicating their preference to employ the coping strategies. Majority of the participants’ tendency to opt for the coping strategies had association with their demographics. Significant differences were also observed between and among the participants with respect to their demographics.


Andersson, G., & Willebr, M. (2003). What is coping? A critical review of the construct and its application in audiology. International Journal of Audiology, 42(97), 97-103.

Atnafu, A., & Adamek, M. E. (2016). The return migration experiences of Ethiopian women trafficked to Bahrain “... for richer or poorer, let me be on the hands of my people.” African Black Diaspora, 9(2), 243-256.

Biggs, A., Brough, P., & Drummond, S. (2017). Lazarus and Folkman's psychological stress and coping theory. In C. L. Cooper & J. C. Quick (Eds.), The handbook of stress and health: A guide to research and practice (pp. 351-364). London: Wiley Blackwell.

Carver, C. S. (1997). You want to measure coping but your protocol's too long: Consider the Brief COPE. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 4(1), 92-100. doi:10.1207/s15327558ijbm0401_6

Cohen, S. (1988). Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States. In S. Spacapan & S. Oskamp (Eds.), The social psychology of health (pp. 31-67). Sage Publications, Inc.

De Regt, M., & Tafesse, M. (2016). Deported before experiencing the good sides of migration: Ethiopians returning from Saudi Arabia. African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, 9(2), 228-242.

Dedeli, O., & Kaptan, G . (2013). Spirituality and religion in pain and pain management. Health Psychology Research, 29(1), 32-44.

Donnelly, T. T. (2002). Contextual analysis of coping: Implications for immigrants’ mental health care. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 23(7), 715-732.

Fernandez, B. (2011). Household help? Ethiopian women domestic workers’ labor migration to the Gulf countries. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 20(3), 433-457.

Garcia, F. E., Barraza-Pena, C. G., & Wlodarcyk, A. (2018). Psychometric properties of the Brief-COPE for the evaluation of coping strategies in the Chilean population. Psychology: Research and Review, 31(1), 22-40.

Gezahegn, G., & Kassim, K. (2017). Psychosocial challenges and coping techniques of female returnee migrants from Middle East Countries: A case of Ethiopia. International Research Journal of Management Science and Technology, 8(1), 20-31.

Gustems-Carnicer, J., & Calderón, C. (2013). Coping strategies and psychological wellbeing among teacher education students. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 28(4), 1127-1140.

Higgins, G. (1994). Resilient adults: Overcoming a cruel past. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

International Labor Organization. (2015). ILO global estimates on migrant workers and migrant domestic workers: Results and methodology. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labor Organization.

International Labor Organization. (2010). Equal rights and opportunities for safe migration: A perquisite for development,’ IOM Gender and Migration News, 34(1), 1-2.

Kahn, J. H., & Garrison, A. M. (2009). Emotional self-disclosure and emotional avoidance: Relations with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Journal of Counselling Psychology, 56(4), 573-584.

Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. (2010). Report on labor market situation and employment exchange service. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. (2004). Policy frameworks of work migration to the Middle East. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Monzani, D., Steca, P., Greco, A., D’Addario, M., Pancani, L, & Cappelletti, E. (2015). The situational version of the Brief COPE: Dimensionality and relationships with goal-related variables. Europe Journal of Psychology, 11(2), 295-310.

Ogden, J. (2007). Health psychology. New York, NY: Open University Press.