Resilience in Widowhood: The Coping Mechanisms against the Social Odds Occasioned by Death of a loved one in Kenya

Lenity K. Kathenya


Widowhood is a subject that has attracted scholarly discourse in the recent past. Widowhood comes as a result of the death of a spouse. Most studies mainly focus on the widows’ negative experiences and forget to document their resilience and the factors contributing to this among certain widows. This study examined widows’ coping mechanisms against the social challenges occasioned by widowhood. The study used the mixed-method research approach in collecting data. The target population was widows aged 18 years and above. The study used a sample size of 50 respondents drawn from the five wards of Tharaka South and Tharaka North Sub-Counties. Qualitative data was collected through in-depth interviews with key informants and focus group discussions. Data were summarized and analyzed thematically. The study established that widows face loneliness, discrimination, lack of support from their in-laws, conflicts, rejection by the community members and intrusions by relatives. To cope with these challenges, avoidance, engagement in economic activities, seeking divine intervention, seeking support from the authorities as well as learning to accept own situation were some of the coping mechanisms employed. Future studies could consider delving into the extent of the role of religion in developing resilience among widows as well as the magnitude of self-realization upon the loss of a loved one.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Lenity K. Kathenya

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Journal of Social Science Studies ISSN 2329-9150

Copyright © Macrothink Institute

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders. If you have any questions, please contact: