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Title: Child abuse & neglect : its forms, causes and consequences in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Author: Al-Zahrani, Ali Hassan
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2004
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It is understood that child abuse is a very sensitive topic, not only in Saudi Arabia but all over the world. Maybe that is why only 39 cases of child abuse have been seen in Saudi Paediatric clinics during the last decade. In fact, in Saudi Arabia, we have no idea of the extent of child abuse, its causes or consequences. In the light of this situation, I decided on three main aims for this thesis. The first was to ascertain the reasons for child abuse in the society of Saudi Arabia. To this end I selected various epidemiological factors (e.g. parent’s ages, parent’s occupations, parent’s education, parent’s income, parent’s residence, number of siblings in the family, marital problems, and the client’s age). It was found that income, the number of siblings, the father’s level of education, the mother’s level of education, the father’s age, and the mother’s age are significant factors affecting the level of all form of child abuse (emotional, physical and sexual), and emotional neglect. The second aim of this study was to identify the types of child abuse that are the most common in Saudi Arabia. Child emotional neglect (26.6%) was found to be the most prevalent (27.3% among households, and 24.3% among students). The second most prevalent was child emotional abuse (22.8% overall with 21.1% among students, and 23.4% among households). The third was child sexual abuse (22.7% overall, with 27.2% among students, and 14.7% among households). The fourth was child physical neglect (18.4% overall, with 21.1% among students and 13.5% among households). The fifth was child physical abuse (12.2% overall, with 12.3% among students, and 12.2% among households. And the last was medical neglect (9.4% overall, with 6.6% among students, and 14.5% among households). The third aim of the study was to examine a number of key issues regarding the sequelae of the experience of abuse. Analyses showed that there is an association between all forms of child abuse (sexual, physical, emotional), emotional neglect and the following psychological problems; low self-esteem; aggression; psychological distress; and impulsiveness. In conclusion, this study can be considered to be the first Saudi Arabian nationwide study of child abuse. It is intended to give a brief overview, and to open up the door for other researchers by breaking the taboo that surrounds the issue of child abuse in Saudi Arabia. It is also intended to give an indication to the government, to parents, to professionals, to teachers, and to society as whole that child abuse in Saudi Arabia is a real issue that is affecting our children now and therefore will have repercussions for the nation in the future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available