Recent Submissions

  • The Impact of Language Barrier in Work Related Stress in Non – Arabic Workers

    Merdad, Nesma; Amanulla, Ayesha; Psychology
    In today’s globalized society, it is common for people from different backgrounds to be working under the same company. Studies show that employees experience higher levels of stress when operating in a second language. However, there is not a lot of research that looks into language-related stress that may be faced by workers in Saudi Arabia who are not familiar with the national language. This study uses qualitative methods to understand their experience with the Arabic language specifically if they experience any stress related to language ability. Six participants who were working in Effat University were selected using convenience sampling and were interviewed. This study showed that the workers had mostly beginner level of proficiency in Arabic and experienced stress during meeting, when understanding written material and while speaking with colleagues who were not fluent in English. The participants also shared some factors that prevents them from improving the ability in Arabic. This study shows the importance of language related classes in helping to mitigate language barriers in multinational workplaces.
  • The Stigma of Mental Health in Arab Culture vs. Western Culture

    Merdad, Nesma; Saeed, Leena; Psychology
    The mental health stigma has become a part of social turmoil since the inception of modern generation of humans. However, the division among people is still existed on the topic of mental health stigma. The aim of this research is providing a difference between Western and Arab cultures on the perspective of mental health stigma by analyzing how social and cultural norms impact behavior of individuals and how they take serious and treatment of mental health. In this study, the research will examine the role of cultural norms of Western and Arab cultures where how people view and reaction on mental health. Western culture has a higher level of social acceptance and the range of accessible treatments of mental health. Mental health and psychological disorder is considered and treated in well manner by mental health professional. However, Arab culture faces mental health stigma and abstain from mental health care and even want to confidential their mental health. This research must be conducted to analysis the particular effects of mental health stigma on individuals in Arab and Western communities. We can immediately response and confront it and provide people awareness and counselling of mental health by identifying the main causes of the stigma. This will make mental health is more widely accepted and reduce the social stigma of mental health, they are suffering from it, will disappear.
  • The Impact of the Quran and Music on Anxiety Levels

    Merdad, Nisma; Wali, Maimounah; Psychology
    Calm music has been used to treat mental health problems and has been incorporated into relaxation techniques to treat psychological issues as supported by the research in mental health. The holy Quran is a holy book in Islam and has been used by Muslims for its healing properties. This quantitative study focused on exploring the effect of listening to the Quran versus calm music on anxiety levels. The current study measured the anxiety levels of participants by using Spielberger’s State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Thirty-six individuals participated in the current study and were divided into two groups, the Music Group (n=20) who listened to a five minute audio of calm music, and the Quran group (n=16) who listened to a five-minute audio of Surat Yusuf. Anxiety levels were measured by administering questionnaires. For analysis of the results, paired sample t-test and independent sample t-test were applied. Within group difference results showed that Quran and music are both effective in decreasing anxiety levels. However, between-group differences, it was found that post-audition anxiety levels of people who listened to the Quran were lower than people who listened to music. There were no significant differences in the results of previous experiments with listening to music and listening to the Quran. This shows that the Quran has healing properties and may be effective for therapeutic techniques. The impact of listening to the Quran may be further explored in future studies with different areas of other mental health problems.
  • Can Nurturing a Houseplant Promote College Students' Mental Wellbeing?

    Merdad, Nisma; Rozi, Fatima; Psychology
    Agricultural research proves that adding indoor plants into personal spaces can have multiple benefits to people physically and mentally. And numerous other studies have been conducted on the prevalence of mental health issues in college students. This experimental study aimed to explore the effects of nurturing a houseplant on college students’ depressive mood, stress, and motivation levels. The participants were 12 Effat university students from the psychology department. They were randomly divided into a control group and a study group who were given plants to nurture for six weeks. The results indicated no statistically significant difference in change in scores of depression, stress, and motivation in pre, mid, and post-intervention. If future studies with a larger, more enhanced design could confirm the positive effects of plants on college students’ mental wellbeing, plants could be used as a support system for college students on universities scale.
  • Perspectives on Mental Health Problems, Mental Healthcare, and Quality of Life for People Living in Areas of Crisis.

    Merdad, Nisma; Alfadhel, Orjuwan; Psychology
    This study aims to explore mental health (e.g. depression and PTSD) as well as the quality of life for people living in or coming from areas of crisis. The study also linked these mental health variables and quality of life (QoL) with access to mental healthcare; as well as QoL with receiving mental healthcare. The research also aims qualitatively to discover healthcare workers’ perspective about access to mental healthcare, treatment methods, barriers to seeking therapy and number of beneficiaries in those countries. Studies have shown that individuals in Yemen, Sudan, and Syria have been facing recurrent exposure to stress, loss, and trauma, resulting in severe mental health difficulties and reduction in QoL. Common mental disorders prevalent among those exposed to war and conflict include PTSD and depression. Limited access to mental healthcare exacerbates the situation, affecting people’s mental health and QoL. The study employed a mixed methods approach. PCL-5, PHQ-9, and WHOQOL-BREF questionnaires are used for PTSD, depression, and quality of life among 118 Syrian, Yemen, and Sudan adults. Semi structured interviews were conducted with 3 healthcare workers to explore access to mental healthcare, treatment methods, and number of beneficiaries. Over 52.5% exhibited high PTSD risk, and 55% showed moderate to severe depression symptoms. More than half lacked mental healthcare access, and most hadn't received prior care. There were significant differences in mental health disorders and QoL with the accessibility to mental healthcare. There was no significant difference in QoL between those who received mental healthcare and those who did not. Thematic analysis identified two master themes: access to mental healthcare and barriers to seeking therapy.
  • The Relationship between Parenting Styles and Children Anxiety Disorders Among Children aged six to twelve years in The Western Region of Saudi Arabia

    Jaber AlGhalib, Dr Saddiga; Alhussini, Lama; Psychology
    purpose: the aim of this research is to examine the relationship between parenting styles and children's anxiety disorders among children aged six to twelve years in the western region of Saudi Arabia. The lack of research in Saudi Arabia and the inconsistent findings in the literature was the motivation for the researcher to examine this relationship. Methods: A cross-sectional design is used to collect the data. An online questionnaire was distributed with the following tools: SCARED and PCDQ. The data was analyzed using SPSS. Results: The researcher has found that the authoritarian (M = 3.62, SD = .46). and Permissive (M = 2.93, SD =.82) parenting styles were statistically significant in predicting child anxiety. Authoritative (M = 3.62, SD = .46) was found to be a insignificant predictor of childhood anxiety.
  • The Impact of Growing up in a Polygamous Family on Adult’s Current Self Esteem and Level of Stress

    Merdad, Nisma; Alamoudi, Eman; Psychology
    Studies show that adults who grow up in polygamous families have a higher rate of mental health challenges, including elevated stress levels and diminished self-esteem. However, there are no studies investigating their relations with parents, siblings, and step siblings. Aim: This research aims to determine the relationship between growing up in polygamous families and the level of self-esteem and stress in adults while also investigating how these experiences may influence adults’ relationships with parents and siblings. Methods: A total of 104 participants in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia were recruited through voluntary participation, and they were assessed using the Rosenburg self-esteem scale and the Perceived stress scale. Results: Adults from polygamous families exhibited slightly higher self-esteem, but also experienced elevated stress levels compared to those from monogamous families. Additionally, adults from Polygamous families reported poorer relationships with both parents and siblings compared to their counterparts in monogamous families. Implications: This study stresses the significance of employing family therapy and parenting workshops to contribute and help address these relational challenges and improve communication, understanding, and overall family bonds and cohesion.

    Merdad, Nisma; El-Ghali, Jana; Psychology
    Masculine norms refer to specific behaviours expected from men in a society. These norms can hinder men's mental well-being by discouraging emotional expression, leading to male normative alexithymia. Additionally, these norms could also contribute to the father’s emotional state and his level of engagement with his children. This paper aims to find a relationship between adherence to masculine norms, normative male alexithymia, and the mental well-being of males living in KSA. It further aims to describe a connection between a father’s emotional state and level of engagement with his children. The study uses a mixed-method design. The quantitative method involved an online self-report questionnaire distributed to participants, consisting of demographic factors, the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) to assess mental well-being, the Perth Alexithymia Questionnaire-Short Form (PAQ-S) to measure alexithymia, and the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory-22 (CMNI-22) to evaluate adherence to masculine norms. The qualitative method involved face-to-face interviews with five fathers recruited through random professors at Effat University. The coded interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Results of the quantitative survey showed a significant weak positive correlation between masculine norms and alexithymia. A non-significant weak negative correlation between mental well-being and alexithymia. A non-significant weak positive correlation between masculine norms and mental well-being. The results of the interviews showed that most fathers tend to detach from their children when faced with stress. However, maintaining active engagement, particularly through positive interactions, can potentially reduce their distress. Disengaging children during challenging periods may undermine fathers' mental well-being, emphasizing the importance of maintaining involvement. These findings highlight the significance of tailored parenting programs and interventions for fathers, having mental health support services for males, and promoting awareness of men’s mental health through educational campaigns.
  • Implementing Islam in Mental Health Treatment and Exploring the Impact of the Sense of God's Presence in Therapy

    Merdad, Nisma; Marar, Rinal; Psychology
    Psychologists have primarily applied Western psychology when treating Muslim individuals. However, it is essential to address the religious needs of Muslim individuals in therapy to gain significant outcomes. This study aims to examine the psychologists' and clients’ acceptance of incorporating Islam in psychotherapy and, to prove the effectiveness of the sensation of God’s presence in therapy. This study is qualitative and was conducted through two types of semi-structured interviews; (1) 6 clients who suffered from mental health problems, and (2) 5 psychologists who are providing mental health treatment sessions. In this study, 5 themes were found. Two themes for the clients; (1) clients’ opinions about Islamic integrations and, (2) the effect of Islamic integration on clients’ lives and therapy. Three themes for psychologists’; (1) psychologists’ opinions about Islamic integrations, (2) the effect of integrating the sensation of God’s presence, and (3) disorders that could benefit from the integration. This study holds significance in examining the influence of integrating Islam into psychotherapy. The results of this study show different positive aspects of the integration that benefit the therapeutic outcomes
  • Short – term Versus Long – term Relationship Preferences Among Men and Women: A Case of Saudi Arabia

    Merdad, Nisma; Alghamdi, Asmaa; Psychology
    When engaging in long-term or short-term relationships, it is essential to understand that not both genders have the same preferences; it differs from gender to gender and if the relationship is being considered for a longer bond like marriage or otherwise. The following paper attempts to highlight these differences in choice between men and women in Saudi Arabia by studying the results of a quantitative methodology, surveying the population for their preferences, and then comparing them. This was done via an online survey link sent to 70 participants, who were asked to choose their more considered preferences when choosing a mate. The results revealed the differences between long-term and short-term relationship preferences between the two genders and concluded that females are more likely to consider factors like religious and shared values for long-term relationships in comparison to men, along with many other factors to be studied below. It aims to determine the factors that push the perspectives of the residents to sway the way that they do.
  • Stigmatization of Personality Disorders: A Qualitative Approach

    Jaber AlGhalib, Dr Saddiga; Abduljawad, Jade; Psychology
    Personality disorders were always the most stigmatized disorders when it came to putting into the DSM-5 (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) coined the term "psychopathic personalities" to describe personality types in modern psychiatric classification. Personality disorders are classified as a manner of thinking, feeling, and acting that differs from cultural norms produces distress or impairment in functioning and persists over time. My research is targeted to understand and highlight all aspects of personality disorders in a small sample of university students. A simply qualitative study was done in order to understand this phenomenon. 5 participants responses were chosen and compared. The results showed that more research is needed in the middle east to understand if religion is the factor that is stigmatizing personality disorders.
  • The Implamentation of a Psychological Assessment During the Process of Acquiring a Driver’s License

    Merdad, Nisma; Al-Tamimi, Joud; Psychology
    The Implementation of a Psychological Assessment During the Process of Acquiring a Driver’s License is a pilot study aiming to explore the dangers lying within the Streets of Saudi Arabia. It wishes to answer the central question of “How would the streets of Saudi Arabia become safer for drivers?”. The study hypothesizes 3 factors affecting the safety of Saudi Arabia’s drivers: racism, sexism, and tendency towards violence. It also proposes an assessment to be provided, as a form of an interview, during the process of acquiring a driver’s license which measures the candidate’s psyche towards race and sex, and their inclination towards violence. For the methodology, the research will conduct a survey asking for demographic information (e.g., age group, gender, nationality) as well as specific information regarding the participants’ experiences while driving in Saudi Arabia. The data collected through these surveys will give a much-needed insight into the drivers of Saudi Arabia which will hopefully further more research into the importance of embedding psychology into the methods of making Saudi Arabia a safe place to drive in.
  • Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD)

    Jaber AlGhalib, Dr Saddiga; Juhany, Salma; Psychology
    This paper aims to discuss Emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) within a well-rounded meta synthesis and narrative review. Investigating all relative aspects of the disorder such as its treatment and therapy options. Within this review, I will also include an autobiographical view of my lived experiences as a person with emotionally unstable personality disorder. Recent findings have both clarified and improved an understanding on what EUPD is. As such, in this research project, I will provide an up-to-date scientific review of recent findings, as well as, lend an informative view on the diagnosis, causes, psychological and biological factors, course, and treatment of emotionally unstable personality disorder. EUPD is characterized by impulse control, severe impairment in functionality, emotional dysregulation, suicidal ideation and self-injury, and intense unstable patterns in interpersonal relationships and self-image.
  • Siblings of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

    Merdad, Nisma; Mazhar, Bodoor; Psychology
    Defining features of An intellectual disability are deficits in intellectual functioning, meaning; problem solving, learning in an academic environment as well as life experiences, reasoning skills, social communication and so on. Daily life for individuals with an ID can be quite challenging, since depending on the severity of their disability simple tasks like getting dressed, maintaining hygiene or carrying a conversation can be a struggle. This is why it is crucial that these individuals have strong support systems, which are usually found in their immediate family, their parents and siblings. The struggle that parents go through emotionally, financially, and socially is often discussed because it is indeed difficult to raise someone with an intellectual disability but it can still be rewarding. However, a relatively underrepresented demographic that is overlooked by researchers and sometimes their parents are the typically developing siblings of those with intellectual disabilities. Typically developing siblings nearly always experience an increase in responsibility in regards to their sibling, essentially taking on the roll of another caregiver. It is also important to note that a child with an ID (depending on the severity) will require a lot of attention from their parents, and often times parents will get so consumed with the care of their ID child that they don’t give the appropriate amount of attention to their typically developing child. This can foster a variety of confusing feelings; jealousy, resentment, guilt, inferiority and so on. It is especially difficult for them because in many cases they do understand that their sibling does require more attention. Not to mention the added stress of worrying about their siblings disability and their limitations can cause feelings of anxiety. Based on this, there is reason to believe that due to the earlier mentioned factors that these individuals are at risk for negative psychological effects which is further explored throughout the following research.
  • The Prevalence of Exercise Dependence and Its Relationship With Alexithymic Tendencies in Saudi Arabia

    Merdad, Nisma; Ashi, Lojain; Psychology
    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence of exercise dependence and determine the relationship between exercise dependence and alexithymic tendencies in Saudi Arabia. Method: The study utilized a non-experimental, correlational research approach; an online survey was used as the method of data collection, where demographic information, questions about exercise habits, body image, including four items from the Dresden Body Image Questionnaire (DBIQ), the Exercise Dependence Scale (EDS-21), and the Perth Alexithymia Questionnaire (PAQ) were administered. Implications: This paper shows that identifying the risk of exercise dependence is vital, as well as possibly considering the level of alexithymia as a marker to calculate the risk of dependence and manage any issues or abnormal behavior that may arise as a result in order to improve mental well-being. Results: The rate of at-risk of exercise dependence was shown to be 12.5%. A low, positive, and significant correlation between exercise dependence and alexithymia (r = .344) was found.
  • Perfectionism, Personality, and Depression Levels Amongst Chronically Ill Individuals: A Correlational Study on Long Haul Covid Patients

    Rashid, Tabassum; Alnouri, Zeina; Psychology
    Perfectionism levels, personality traits, and depression have been assessed across many studies in various ways independently. Depression is a common comorbidity among patients who experience chronic illnesses and diseases such as cardiovascular complications, strokes, etc. (Li et al., 2018). Although the prevalence of depression is common amongst these individuals, studies have linked the levels of perfectionism and specific personality traits to its severity (Wang, Zhang, 2017; Kotov, Gamez, Schmidt, Watson, 2010). This study analyzes the relationship between perfectionism, personality, and depression levels among chronically ill individuals with long haul covid. Moreover, the study used an opportunity sample; a survey was sent out through different social media platforms and online support groups.
  • The Relationship Between Smartphones Screen Time and Executive Functioning among Undergraduate Students

    Merdad, Nesma; Saker, Norhan; Psychology
    The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between smartphone screen time and executive functioning among undergraduate students in Saudi Arabia. The research found that there is no significant relationship between the two variables. However, it found that there is a significant relationship between the scores of the executive skills questionnaire and the strengths and difficulties questionnaire, which may imply that there is a significant relationship between undergraduate students' executive functions and their overall emotional and behavioral status.

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