Parents' Perceptions and Beliefs on Adolescence and Substance Use: A Preliminary Qualitative Study in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates [UAE]Layla Alhyas*, Hisham Elarabi, Ahmed El-Kashef, Shamil Wanigaratne, Amna Almarzouqi, Ayesha Alhosani, Hamad Al Ghaferi
The National Rehabilitation Centre, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- *Corresponding Author:
- Layla Alhyas
The National Rehabilitation Centre
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Received Date: January 22, 2015; Accepted Date: March 13, 2015; Published Date: March 17, 2015
Citation: Alhyas L, Elarabi H, El-Kashef A, Wanigaratne S, Almarzouqi A, et al. (2015) Parents’ Perceptions and Beliefs on Adolescence and Substance Use: A Preliminary Qualitative Study in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates [UAE]. J Child Adolesc Behav 3:195. doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000195
Copyright: © 2015 Alhyas L et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Introduction: Parents were considered as one of the main elements in the framework of theories about deviance and problem behaviors such as substance use. Despite the well-established evidence on the prominent role of the parental factors in protecting adolescents from risky behaviors such as substance use, and given the large change in the lifestyles witnessed among Emirate families; little attention was given to understanding and examining parent’s beliefs and perceptions of factors associated with substance use among adolescents. The aims of the study are to: Explore parental knowledge of substance use among adolescents in their communities, commonly used substances and patterns of use. Explore parental perception of risk and protective factors related to substance use. Explore parental attitudes towards adolescence and their perceptions of the challenges observed during adolescence. Methods: A qualitative approach utilizing six focus groups 38 parents [17 fathers and 21 mothers]. Results: Many parents were worried and complained about the initiation of new behaviours among adolescents; however they were not aware about the developmental changes adolescents undergo and its association with the initiation of new behaviours. Parents believed that individual, familial, and psychosocial related factors can moderate or increase the risk of substance use among adolescents. Apparently, the role of effective communication in enhancing the parent-adolescent relationship and moderating the risk associated with substance use was emphasized by all participants. Parents listed many factors limiting the communication with their offspring including: the vast uncontrolled use of social media, limited time allocated for children and lack of parental skills Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that, parents in Abu Dhabi can moderate the risk of substance use among adolescents if they equip themselves with the needed knowledge and skills. The important protective role of parent-adolescent communication against the initiation and involvement in risky behaviors was emphasized by our findings. To optimize parent-adolescents communication, Emirate parents in Abu Dhabi residing in the city; especially fathers should spend more time and communicate more frequently with their offspring The present study also suggest designing prevention program that considers attitudes towards substance use problem among adolescents using community mobilization in urban areas. Given the great influence of modern media on the beliefs, behaviors and attitudes of adolescents, future studies should examine this association.