Youth in the United Arab Emirates: Perceptions of problems and needs for a successful transition to adulthood

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International Journal of Adolescence and Youth


All societies face a similar need to support youth development and assist their transition to adulthood. The issues and problems for youth as well as the transition process vary from one culture to another, however. The present research was conducted in an Islamic and Arabic country, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). The U.A.E. is also experiencing a period of rapid social and economic change. The research was exploratory and examined youth perceptions and beliefs about issues and problems for youth as well as support in the transition to adulthood. Gender differences were examined and expected because of the cultural separation of gender roles. This was confirmed by aspects of the results. For example, girls reported a lack of freedom as a problem, but boys did not. Boys rated having clear aims in life as more important for their future than did girls. The data from both boys and girls suggested that U.A.E. youth would like more advice and guidance from the family to support the transition to adulthood. Comparisons with Western literature suggested some similarities and differences in problems and issues for youth. The differences appear to be associated with features of culture in the U.A.E. that differ from Western countries. © 2005 A B Academic Publishers.

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