Mothering during war and postwar in bosnia

Lee Cheryl Robertson, Laura Duckett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The study aim was to describe displaced Bosnian mothers' experiences caring for their children during and immediately after the war (1992-1995). Mothers described their progression into war, through war, and into vastly changed lives. Using ethnographic methods, narrative data were collected near Sarajevo, Bosnia, from 14 displaced women who participated in one to three interviews each between 1996 and 1999. Data from the semistructured interviews were analyzed to determine patterns in participants' descriptions of mothering during war. Four common themes of mothering were identified in the data: "on the move," "I have to feed them," "living somewhere in between," and "still living the war inside." As care providers and policy makers develop initiatives to improve the health of women and children during complex humanitarian emergencies, there is much to learn from the narratives of Bosnian women about their extraordinary struggle to protect the lives of their children amid violence and loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-483
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Family Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Bosnia
  • Children
  • Displaced persons
  • Ethnography
  • Mothers
  • War


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