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Faculty Highlight: Dr. Juliet Dinkha & Dr. Nisrine Aboul-Hosn

AUK's Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Juliet Dinkha and Adjunct faculty Dr. Nisrine Aboul-Hosn, along with AUK student Monica Matta presented a paper on December 4th, 2010 titled Gender differences in coping strategies of adolescent students and their impact on self-esteem, at the Third International Conference 'Children and Youth in Changing Societies' in Thessaloniki, Greece.

This study investigated differences in coping strategies adopted by adolescent students in Kuwait. The paper aimed to explore the extent in which coping strategies affect self-esteem and the impact of coping strategies within gender. The literature suggests that gender differences do exist in coping strategies of undergraduate students which may in turn impact self-esteem. The literature also indicates that there is a significant difference between males and females in terms of engagement in coping strategies and academic attainment. (Lawrence, 2006)

The current study utilized a survey methodology to collect data from adolescent attending various schools in Kuwait. The data was collected from approximately 300 students, 150 males and 150 females. Gender Differences in Coping Strategies of Adolescents and their Impact on Self Esteem survey was administered for the previously stated purpose. We hypothesized that (1) Religion will be utilized by both sexes given the collectivist and religious nature of the Kuwaiti society, (2) Females will select seeking social support for emotional reasons (3) Denial, as a coping strategy, will be utilized by males due to restrictions of society and personal expression. (4) Coping strategies imposed by collectivist society such as religion and social support for instrumental or emotional reasons, would decrease self esteem since the coping strategies that suit an individual personally will be inhibited. The findings suggested that both genders used mental disengagement, focus on emotional venting, use of instrumental social support, religious coping and emotional support systems as coping strategy mechanisms.

The paper presented was well received, generating substantial interest in the social and cultural contexts of adolescence living in Kuwait. A wealth of feedback was received and several positive directions are noted. Furthermore, the paper led to potential research collaborations with few university faculties in Greece, specifically, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Right to left: AUK's Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Juliet Dinkha and Adjunct faculty Dr. Nisrine Aboul-Hosn, along with AUK student Monica Matta

Released by the PR & Marketing Department on the 06th March 2011

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