The perceived needs and coping responses of adolescents in the United Arab Emirates
This thesis is concerned with the perceived needs and coping responses of a sample of adolescents in the United Arab Emirates. It is arranged in four sections, further subdivided into nine chapters. Section one contains an outline of the main aims, scope, and the significance and limitations of the study. Information about the UAE and some historical background of the society before and after federation are provided to show the rapid and comprehensive development which has been influencial: social structure, familial changes, and changes in traditional customs. The possible effects upon adolescence in the community are discussed. Section two provides a review of relevant literature. Firstly, the concept of needs, historical background of studies of needs, influences upon the development of needs hierarchies, approaches to the study adolescents' needs, universal needs of adolescence and major issues in the assessment of needs are outlined. Then, definitions, conceptual and methodological issues and theories of coping which have influenced this study are discussed. Differences in coping styles and processes used in response to specific and dispositional needs arousal are considered. The development of adolescent perceptions of needs, the significance of adolescent failure in developing coping skills and cognitive development and its effects upon the perception of needs are examined. Finally, the researcher presents a framework of needs perception and coping responses which is used in the design and the conduct of the empirical study. Section three describes the empirical work of the study. It is in three chapters. Firstly, the aims and the overall design are described. A pilot study involving qualitative and quantitative measures was undertaken in preparation for the design and use of a questionnaire involving a larger sample of adolescents. The main study which involved the construction of a questionnaire to examine adolescents' perceived needs and the coping responses. Responses from 700 young people in the UAE were analyzed to determine types and strengths of perceived needs and differences in coping responses. Some gender differences were also identified and discussed. Section four contains a summary of the main findings, conclusions and recommendations. The three most strongly perceived needs reported by these young people were: to achieve success, to be blessed by God and to feel homeostasis and away from problems; and the least strongly felt needs were: to be beautiful/handsome and to gain people's attention. Some gender differences were noted. In coping responses the findings indicated that boys tend to use denial way of coping to meet their perceived needs more than girls, who tend to use acceptance way of coping more than boys. Interestingly, the findings of this research show a considerable overlap between the perceived needs of adolescents in an Islamic culture and those of adolescents in western cultures. The findings are discussed in relation to the debate in theoretical terms between perception of human behavior as trait-orientated or process-orientated. This section concludes with a discussion of issues and questions raised in the study and with recommendations for further research.