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  • The Translation and Validation of the Basic Empathy Scale (BES-AR)

    Merdad, Nesma; Hamad, Joud; Psychology
    The Arabic version of the Basic Empathy Scale demonstrates strong reliability and satisfactory validity, resembling the original scale by Farrington and Jolliffe (2006). Female participants showed higher levels of empathy compared to males. The Arabic scale correlates positively with the Perth Empathy Scale, indicating concurrent validity. A weak significant relationship was obtained between BES and SDS, suggesting an association between empathy and social desirability. There is no significant correlation observed between social interaction anxiety and empathy. The exploratory factor analysis favored a one-factor model for an overall empathy score. With Arabic-speaking people, the Arabic BES demonstrates validity and reliability for clinical and research applications, enabling assessments that are sensitive to cultural differences. Its participation in research promotes empathy awareness worldwide and helps educators and mental health professionals with diagnosis, treatment, and skill development.
  • The effectiveness of sensory processing interventions for children with Autism

    Merdad, Nesma; nesma; Masoudi, Razan; Psychology
    Children with ASD often experience significant sensory processing challenges that can affect their daily lives and overall development. These sensory issues can lead to behaviors such as avoidance of certain activities or environments, difficulty focusing, and problems in emotional regulation. Sensory processing problems can impact their ability to participate in typical activities, affecting their learning, social interactions, and quality of life. Therefore, knowing mothers’ impressions towards the interventions used, such as sensory integration therapy, applied behavior analysis, and occupational therapy can help in knowing the effectiveness of these interventions for children with ASD and how to improve it. Thus, online semi-structured interviews were conducted to 3 mothers of children with autism and it covered 2 themes (symptoms improvement and mothers’ wellbeing). Results showed positive views on the therapy’s effectiveness and showed improvement on the mothers’ overall wellbeing.
  • The Effectiveness of Applied Behavior Analysis for Children with Autism from Mothers' Perspectives

    Merdad, Nisma; Masoudi, Rawan; Psychology
    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by challenges in social interaction, communication, and restricted or repetitive behaviors. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapeutic approach aimed at improving these areas by breaking down skills into smaller, manageable steps and using positive reinforcement to encourage desired behaviors. ABA interventions are structured, targeting specific behaviors through techniques such as reinforcement, prompting, and shaping. The aim of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of applied behavior analysis in the treatment of children with autism from mothers’ perspective. 3 mothers of children with autism that are receiving ABA therapy were interviewed. The interview questions covered two themes (symptoms improvement & mothers’ well-being). Results revealed positive views on the therapy’s effectiveness and showed improvement on the mothers’ overall well-being.
  • Divorce in the Middle East

    Merdad, Nisma; Alghamdi, Dana; Psychology
    This qualitative study aims to provide a detailed investigation into the various aspects of divorce in the Middle East, focusing on cultural and societal influences, effects on family structures and gender roles, social implications, and the psychological well-being of those involved. The research aims to enhance understanding and awareness of the dynamics of divorce in the Middle East. Utilizing a qualitative methodology, the study conducted online semi-structured interviews via Zoom and FaceTime with eight participants, including four parents and four children. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Key findings reveal distinct themes for both children and parents. For children, mental health, social life, and relationships with parents were predominant themes. For parents, financial child support, emotional child support, relationships with ex-partners, and pre- and post-divorce support emerged as critical areas of focus. The study concludes that both children and parents face significant challenges due to divorce, with finances and communication being particularly difficult for parents, while children struggle with mental health, social life, and maintaining parental relationships. Despite these challenges, many participants demonstrated resilience and adaptability, successfully navigating life after divorce.
  • Validation of the Arabic version of the resilience scale for adolescents (READ)

    Chaaya, Roni; Obeid, Sahar; Postigo, Alvaro; Dagher, Dina; Fekih-Romdhane, Feten; Hallit, Souheil; External Collaboration; NA; 0; 0; et al. (2023-10-02)
    Introduction: Adolescents react differently to challenging negative life events. Resilience, a dynamic characteristic of individuals, was studied to be a protective factor against such events. In order to study the resilience among Arabic-speaking adolescent populations, age-appropriate measures that are fully apprehended by younger respondents are needed. In this context, the present study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of an Arabic translation of the Resilience Scale for Adolescents (READ) in a community sample of native Arabic-speaking adolescents aged 13-18 years. Methods: A sample of 546 community Arabic-speaking adolescents from Lebanon was recruited (n = 328 females, with a mean age of 15.76 ± 1.65 years). Through an online questionnaire, participants were requested to complete the READ, Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-8) and the 13-item Children's Impact of Event Scale (CRIES-13). Results: Following the exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (EFA-to-CFA) strategy, a unidimensional model of the Arabic version of the READ was met after 10 items were removed from the scale, and showed strong internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha of 0.943). Additionally, the one-factor solution of the Arabic version of the READ was identical across male and female adolescents at the three levels of invariance (Configural, Metric and Scalar). Finally, higher resilience scores were significantly correlated with lower levels of psychopathology, namely depression, anxiety, stress and PTSD, thus attesting to the concurrent validity of the Arabic READ. Conclusion: Findings lend support to the psychometric reliability and validity of the Arabic version of the READ, and therefore its suitability for use among Arabic-speaking adolescents. The availability of this tool facilitates the implementation of interventions that foster resilience, especially in adolescents who have faced a number of negative life events.
  • A cross-national perspective of prejudice-based cyberbullying: An empirical study across 17 countries

    Amin, Rizwana; M Dinić, Bojana; Bodroža, Bojana; et, al; Psychology (2024)
  • Illegitimate Police task Stress Questionnaire: Development & Psychometric Evaluation

    Amin, Rizwana; Ismail, Rozmi; Badayai, Abdul Rehman; Khizar, Umbreen; External Collaboration; Positive Psychology & Wellbeing Lab; 0; 0; Psychology; 0; et al. (2024)
  • Conceptualization of Social Capital in Mental Health Context among Adolescents and Adults

    Amin, Rizwana; Shamsher, Sabeen; Khawar, Prof. Dr. Rabia; External Collaboration; Positive Psychology & Wellbeing Lab; 0; 0; Psychology; 0; Khawar, Rabia (2024)
  • Exploring Attitudes Toward “Sugar Relationships” Across 87 Countries: A Global Perspective on Exchanges of Resources for Sex and Companionship

    Amin, Rizwana; Kowal, Marta; Ressearch, Consortium; External Collaboration; Positive Psychology & Wellbeing Lab; 0; 0; Psychology; 0; Mesko, Norbert (SpringerLink, 2024)
  • Gender and geographical distribution of editorial board members of three leading suicide journals

    Amin, Ri; Kar, Sujita Kumar; External Collaboration; Positive Psychology & Wellbeing Lab; 0; 0; Psychology; 0; Arafat, Yasir (Hogrefe Publishing, 2024)
  • Exploring the Differences in Family Cohesion, Depression, and Self-esteem among Adolescents and Young Adults with Divorced Parents and Those with Intact Families

    Merdad, Nisma; Taufik, Moudi; Psychology
    Many children show resilience through parental divorce, but can still be susceptible to negative experiences and consequences on their psychological wellbeing. This study aims to explore the potential differences in family cohesion, depression, and self-esteem among adolescents and young adults in divorced families and those in intact families. We hypothesize that adolescents and young adults from divorced will have significantly lower family cohesion and self-esteem and higher depression compared to those from intact families. The scales used to measure the variables was the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scale (FACES), Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI), and Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale. Demographic data was also gathered to explore further moderating factors. The sample contained 111 participants between the ages of 16 and 25 in Saudi Arabia. Results showed significant difference in family cohesion and depression between participants from divorced families and those from intact families. However, there was no statistically significant difference found in self-esteem between the two groups. These findings can contribute to the understanding of the impact of parental divorce on adolescents and young adults, in addition to highlighting the need for specific or customized interventions to support individuals from divorced families.
  • The impact of early childhood education and nursery school on later-life creativity in Saudi Arabia

    Merdad, Nisma; Asfari, Shahad; Psychology
    This study examined the impact of nursery attendance on later life creativity in Saudi Arabia. Numerous studies have been conducted on the effects of nursery, yet the specific influence of nursery attendance on creativity has rarely been explored. A sample of 119 individuals aged 18 to 40 years participated in the study. The Creative Behavior Inventory and Creative Attitude Survey were utilized to assess their creative behaviors and attitudes. The findings revealed a significant positive association between nursery attendance and creativity, indicating that individuals who attended nursery demonstrated higher scores of creativity compared to those who did not attend nursery. These findings have important implications for early childhood education, suggesting that nursery attendance may have a positive influence in fostering children's creativity. Future research should further investigate the underlying mechanisms and potential long-term effects of nursery attendance on creativity, considering contextual factors and individual differences.
  • Development and preliminary validation of the Postpartum Psychotic Experiences Scale (PPES)

    Fekih-Romdhane, Feten; El Hadathy, Diane; Gonzalez-Nuevo, Covadonga; Malaeb, Diana; Barakat, Habib; Hallit, Souheil; External Collaboration; NA; 0; 0; et al. (2023-11-01)
    Despite the emerging research interest in postpartum psychotic experiences, there is still a lack of measures for specifically measuring this construct. The contribution of this paper is to design and validate a novel self-report measure, the Postpartum Psychotic Experiences Scale (PPES), to screen for attenuated psychotic symptoms during postpartum. This cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2022 until June 2023, enrolling 438 women 4-6 weeks after delivery. Starting from an initial pool of 22 items, both Exploratory Factor Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis suggested that remaining 15 items loaded on one factor (α = 0.95). The PPES showed good convergent validity with the Prodromal Questionnaire-Brief scale (correlations >0.8) and good concurrent validity with postpartum depression and anxiety scales. A PPSE score of 8.5 (sensitivity=85.2%, specificity=78.6%) was defined as the optimal cutoff point. At this cutoff, 47% of participating women were considered at possible risk for postpartum psychosis. This study provides, for the first time, a specific self-report measure to assess postpartum PEs reliably and validly. We hope that the PPES will facilitate routine screening for PEs after childbirth among women who are predisposed to developing postpartum psychosis.
  • Editorial: Psychotic experiences and symptoms in adolescents and young adults from different countries and cultural backgrounds

    Fekih-Romdhane, Feten; Obeid, Sahar; Hallit, Souheil; External Collaboration; NA; 0; 0; Psychology; 0; Fekih-Romdhane, Feten (2023-09-04)
  • Cross-Country Validation of the Arabic Version of the Prodromal Questionnaire–Brief (PQ‐B) in Young Adults from the General Population of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region

    Fekih-Romdhane, Feten; jahrami, Haitham; Alhuwailah, Amthal; Fawaz, Mirna; Obeid, Sahar; Cheour, Majda; Hallit, Souheil; External Collaboration; NA; 0; et al. (2023-04-13)
    The concept of early intervention in psychosis is still novel and evolving in some Arab countries, while completely non-existent in most of the other countries. What further complicates the introduction of this concept in the Arab world is the lack of easy-to-use and low-cost Arabic language screening tools. We aimed through the present study to perform a cross-country validation of the Prodromal Questionnaire–Brief (PQ‐B) into the Arabic language. We conducted a cross-sectional cross-national analysis based on 3247 respondents from six countries (i.e., Tunisia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco). All participants answered the Arabic PQ-B and a set of measures used to determine the discriminant validity of the scale (psychological distress and suicidal ideation). Within this study, we also analyzed the factorial structure of the scale and its reliability. We found that 54.2% of participants screened positive for prodromal symptoms, with variations across countries ranging from 47.7% in Lebanon to 62.0% in Egypt. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that fit of the one-factor model of PQ-B items was very good (CFI = .92; TLI = .91; RMSEA = .075 [90% CI .073–.077]. The Cronbach’s alpha values were > .90 for the total sample, in all six countries and in both genders. Findings also showed that the Arabic PQ-B is invariant across gender groups at the metric, configural, and scalar levels. Between-gender comparisons revealed no significant differences between males and females regarding PQ-B scores. Higher PQ-B scores correlated significantly but weakly with higher levels of psychological distress and more suicidal ideation. Findings provide evidence of excellent reliability and discriminant validity of the one-factor structure of the PQ-B in its Arabic version. The Arabic PQ-B appears thus promising as a screening tool to detect prodromal psychosis symptoms in Arabic speaking communities.
  • Validation of the Arabic Version of the Psychotic-Like Experiences Questionnaire for Children (PLEQ-C) in a Community Sample of Children and Adolescents Aged 12–18 years

    Fekih-Romdhane, Feten; Malaeb, Diana; Obeid, Sahar; Hallit, Rabih; Hallit, Souheil; External Collaboration; NA; 0; 0; Psychology; et al. (2023-08-21)
    No epidemiological prevalence data regarding psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) in children and adolescents are yet available for Arab countries. Providing age-appropriate questionnaires that are fully apprehended by younger participants can facilitate discussions on prodromal psychosis in both community and clinical settings. To address this gap and help foster future research on PLEs in these unstudied age groups, we sought to examine the psychometric properties of an Arabic translation of the Psychotic-Like Experiences Questionnaire for Children (PLEQ-C) in a community sample of children and adolescents aged 12–18 years from Lebanon. A total of 546 native Arabic-speaking Lebanese children and adolescents were enrolled in this study with a mean age of 15.90 years (SD = 1.73) and 56.5% females. The forward–backward translation method was used for the translation and adaptation of the PLEQ-C into the Arabic language. The Arabic PLEQ‐C showed good internal consistency, as revealed by McDonald’s ω and Cronbach’s α coefficients of .85. Analyses indicated that all nine items of the PLEQ-C fall onto one factor, thus replicating the originally proposed single-factor structure of the scale. Multi-group analyses revealed that configural, metric, and scalar measurement invariance was achieved across gender and age categories (12–14 years, 15–16 years, and 17–18 years). The PLEQ‐C scores showed significant positive correlations with the PQ‐B frequency and distress sub-scores, hence attesting to its convergent validity. In addition, findings confirmed the good divergent validity of the PLEQ-C, by demonstrating significant correlations with measures of depression, anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Findings preliminarily suggest that the Arabic PLEQ-C is suitable and feasible for assessing PLEs self-reported by children and adolescents in Arab settings. Such an instrument could allow for simple, quick, and effective screening and identification of community youth who need to go through comprehensive clinical interviews and benefit from clinical monitoring or early psychological intervention.
  • Cross-national Validation of the Arabic Version of the Cannabis Use Intention Questionnaire (CUIQ) Among University Students from Egypt, Kuwait, and Tunisia

    Fekih-Romdhane, Feten; Alhuwailah, Amthal; Stambouli, Manel; Hakiri, Abir; Cheour, Majda; Hallit, Souheil; External Collaboration; NA; 0; 0; et al. (2023-11-09)
    Despite the widespread use of cannabis and its relative acceptance among Arab young adults, there still remains high social stigma in addressing these issues and providing treatment options. In addition, research on cannabis use among young adults from Arab nations is still scarce, which is in part due to the lack of valid and reliable measures that are tailored to the Arab social-cultural contexts. This leaves young cannabis users, health care providers, researchers, legislators and policy makers without the evidence needed to make informed decisions about cannabis use. For these reasons, this study aimed to translate and validate the Cannabis Use Intention Questionnaire (CUIQ) into Arabic in a sample of university students. A cross-sectional, web-based study was carried-out in three Arab countries (Egypt, Kuwait and Tunisia). A total of 2033 Arabic-speaking university students (mean age of 23.25 ± 5.00 years, 76.0% females) were administered an Arabic translation of CUIQ, along with other measures. Confirmatory factor analysis provided support to the four-dimensional factor structure of the Arabic CUIQ (i.e. Attitudes toward consumption, Subjective norms, Self-efficacy to abstinence and Cannabis use intention) in our sample of Arabic-speaking university students. Excellent reliability (internal consistency) was demonstrated for the total score (ω = .85/α = .85) and for each subscale (ω ranging from .88 to .97 and α ranging from .88 to .97). Measurement invariance was established across gender and country groups. Adequate validity was attested through significant correlations of CUIQ scores with greater cannabis use during the last 6 months, more favourable attitudes towards cannabis and more severe psychological problems. Making available an Arabic-validated version of this sound, brief, simple, easy-to-use and economic self-report measure of cannabis use intention is a valuable contribution to the medical and scientific community.
  • Psychometric properties of an Arabic translation of the shortest version of the Central Religiosity Scale (CRS-5) in a sample of young adults

    Fekih-Romdhane, Feten; El Tawil, Nathalie; El Zouki, Christian Joseph; Obeid, Sahar; Hallit, Souheil; External Collaboration; NA; 0; 0; Psychology; et al. (2023-11-18)
    Background: There is a dearth of research on religiosity in Arabic-speaking populations, partly due to a lack of universal, standardized and valid instruments to assess this construct. We sought through this study to establish the psychometric properties of an Arabic translation of the shortest version of the Central Religiosity Scale (CRS-5), a widely used measure of religiosity that can be applicable to most religious traditions, thus allowing for worldwide cultural and trans-religious comparisons. Method: A total of 352 Lebanese young adults enrolled in this study with a mean age of 25.08 years (SD = 9.25) and 73.3% women. The forward-backward method was adopted to translate the original English version of the CRS-5 to Arabic. Results: We ran an Exploratory Factor Analysis for the CRS-5 to test whether the expected dimensionality is suitable for the subsequent Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA). The model found replicates the originally proposed five items and one-factor model. Our findings demonstrated that the Arabic CRS-5 achieved good levels of composite reliability, with a McDonald's ω coefficient of .85. A multi-group CFA was modelled for the examination of measurement invariance of the Arabic CRS-5 across gender at the metric, configural, and scalar levels. Between-gender comparisons revealed no significant differences between males and females regarding CRS-5 scores. Finally, we found that religiosity was positively correlated with positive mental health aspects (i.e., social support) and inversely correlated with negative mental health aspects (i.e., suicidal ideation, depression, social anxiety and entrapment); thus attesting for the convergent validity of the CRS-5 as a measure of centrality of religiosity. Conclusion: Pending further validations with larger and more representative populations, we preliminarily suggest that the Arabic CRS-5 is psychometrically sound, and can be recommended for use for research and clinical purposes in Arabic-speaking people of various religions and cultures.
  • Psychometric validation of the Dysmorphic Concern Questionnaire (DCQ) into Arabic

    Fekih-Romdhane, Feten; Hallit, Rabih; Azzi, Vanessa; Dabbous, Mariam; Rashid, Tabassum; Obeid, Sahar; Hallit, Souheil; Department Collaboration; NA; 0; et al. (2024-02-19)
    Background Research on dysmorphic concerns (DC) in Arabic-speaking contexts is hampered by the lack of validated tools. Because DC are culturally dependent, psychometrically sound measures are needed at the national level to closely and accurately investigate the construct in specific societies and populations. The purpose of the current research was to investigate the psychometric properties of Dysmorphic Concern Questionnaire (DCQ) in its Arabic translation in Lebanese adults. Methods The study involved 515 participants (69.9% females, mean age of 27.55 ± 10.92 years) who completed a self-report, web-based questionnaire. Results Confirmatory factor analysis indicated excellent construct validity, as the one-factor structure of the Arabic DCQ fits well with the data. McDonald’s omega was 0.89 in our sample, evidencing an excellent level of internal consistency. Furthermore, the results from the multigroup analysis showed that the DCQ holds similar structural model between genders at the metric, configural, and scalar levels. Finally, DC levels correlated inversely with body appreciation and self-esteem and positively with disordered eating symptoms, thus supporting the concurrent and convergent validity of the Arabic DCQ. Conclusion The DCQ translated into Arabic appears to have a valid self-assessment measure to capture the presence of DC manifestations. It is anticipated that the Arabic DCQ will be advantageous for healthcare professionals and researchers working with Arabic-speaking people around the world.
  • The relationship between climate change anxiety and psychotic experiences is mediated by death anxiety

    Fekih-Romdhane, Feten; Malaeb, Diana; Postigo, Alvaro; Dabbous, Mariam; Obeid, Sahar; Hallit, Souheil; External Collaboration; NA; 0; 0; et al. (2024-01-26)
    Background: As climate change persists, accelerates, and intensifies, and since mitigating factors are absent, mental health impacts are expected to follow the same patterns. Therefore, it appears of utmost importance to deepen and broaden the knowledge and understanding of how and through which mechanisms climate change anxiety (CCA) may interplay with mental health outcomes. Based on the stress-vulnerability model of psychosis, the present study proposed to examine the relationship between CCA and psychotic experiences (PEs), and to test the theoretically-driven hypothesis that death anxiety acts as a mediator in this relationship. Method: This study adopted a cross-sectional approach involving a sample of young adults aged 18 to 35 years (mean age = 24.56 ± 22.49 years; 63.9% females) originating from, and residing in Lebanon. Results: The results of the mediation analysis showed that death anxiety partially mediated the association between CCA and PEs. Higher CCA was significantly associated with higher death anxiety; higher death anxiety was significantly associated with more PEs. Finally, higher CCA was directly and significantly associated with more PEs. Conclusion: Drawing from the present preliminary findings, the key tentative recommendation is that addressing death anxiety might alleviate the association between CCA and PEs. In addition, government decision-makers need to recognize the necessity of considering climate change implications on mental health in policy and decision-making.

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