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OSRA Grant Cycle 3 Public Reports Project Title Family Characteristics, Parenting Styles, and Youth Mental Health in Qatar.pdf (2.6 MB)

OSRA Grant Cycle 3 Public Reports : Project Title: Family Characteristics, Parenting Styles, and Youth Mental Health in Qatar

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submitted on 2023-11-21, 11:29 and posted on 2024-01-29, 11:33 authored by Livia L. Gilstrap, Ahsan Nazeer, Muhammad Waqar Azeem, Muhammad Ather

This project serves two primary objectives:

Objective 1

To further validate an Arabic language, youth mental health screening tool in a GCC nation, and 2) to evaluate a unique aspect of GCC family structure and its potential impact on GCC youth. While mental health screening tools exist for youth, and have been translated into Arabic, they have been evaluated primarily within Levantine countries rather than GCC countries. The utility of these scales in helping to identify which youth might benefit from additional services in the GCC has yet to be identified. The validation of such a scale, in a low cost easy to administer pen and paper format, in order to connect youth who might need services to trained service providers is a great benefit to the region. In addition, because these validation steps have not been completed, the data from scales of this type may or may not provide accurate information about GCC youth for use within the community and for international comparisons. The current study extends the validity of the SDQ-Arabic. We found evidence that validates the use of Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ-Arabic) for the first time in a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country by examining the SDQ-Arabic’s ability to discriminate between clinically referred and community youth samples, and to differentiate between major categories of diagnoses within a clinically referred youth sample. The SDQ-Arabic, which had previously been validated in Arabic speaking Levantine countries in the region, continues to demonstrate strong predictive value in a GCC sample.

Objective 2

The basic structure of families differs across the world. In wealthy GCC countries, most families have live-in maids who serve as both housekeepers and nannies. The role of these staff in the dynamics of the family varies widely and their impact is unclear. The current study provides a preliminary examination of this structural variation and its relationship with parenting and youth mental health. In the current study, parenting (APQ-15, Arabic), mental health (SDQ, Arabic), and closeness to domestic servants (CDS) were measured in a representative community-based sample of 13 – 17-year-old Arabic speaking youth in Qatar a wealthy GCC country. Emotional closeness to the maid predicted increased mental health concerns (SDQ) in a representative community-based sample of Arabic speaking youth. However, these effects were completely mediated by gender in which girls reported more closeness to the maid and increased mental health symptomology relative to boys. These exploratory results warrant further examination as they are a way in which Gulf families differ from families in many other cultures, in particular the cultures in which the bulk of family research is being conducted. Further inclusion of extended caregiving, both by domestic iii servants and by family members, should be considered in models of families in order to include cultures in which these practices are regularly incorporated.



  • English


Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press

Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

Copyright © Doha International Family Institute. This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Doha International Family Institute
  • Qatar Research Development and Innovation Council
  • Qatar National Research Fund - QRDI-C
  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • Doha Institute for Graduate Studies
  • Sidra Medicine

Geographic coverage