Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Cheryl Anderson


Infertility is a serious public health issue. Infertile couples may perceive infertility differently based on their own cultural background. There is a paucity of literature about how infertility is perceived among Arab women living in the United States. The purpose of this study was to be able to understand how Arab women who live in Dearborn, Michigan feel about infertility and to understand their concerns and worries about their health status. The primary research questions asked Arab women how they perceive infertility and how infertility may impact their future. This qualitative case study was guided by the social support theory and the choice theory. The social support theory is mainly used in health promotion to describe unmet social, emotional, and informational needs for a certain community or population. The choice theory helped understand the way women perceive their health issue and the way to overcome it. The case study approach was used to interview 10 participants who self-identified as Arab American women with infertility problems. The qualitative data gathered were analyzed for thematic content, using open, axial, and selective coding. Results showed that for these participants, cultural beliefs regarding infertility had affected their well-being, causing feelings of shame and incompleteness. In addition, the study's findings indicated a need for more extensive psychological services and medical resources to be available for infertile couples. Positive social change may be seen in understanding the specific issues faced by Arab American women struggling with infertility and through translating this knowledge into public health programs.