Epidemiological and Psychosocial Correlates of Cognitive, Emotional, and Social Deficits among Children and Adolescents in Oman: A Literature Review: A Literature Review

Samir Al-Adawi*, Aishwarya Ganesh, Lara Al-Harthi, Muna Al-Saadoon, Nasser Al Sibani, Ajitha Eswaramangalam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last few decades, Oman has undergone a dramatic transition from an impoverished and inward-looking society to an affluent, globalized one. Demographically, the country is in the second stage of demographic transition, with approximately 50% of the population under the age of 25. Existing literature suggests that cognitive, emotional, and social deficits (CESD) among children and adolescents are becoming increasingly common all over the world. The present review highlights the identified rates of CESD and its covariates in the Omani populace. A literature search on CESD in Oman revealed several studies related to impulse control and externalizing behavioral disorders/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), disordered eating, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The rates of ADHD are indicated to be between 5.1% and 8.8%, while disruptive behavior disorders are reported to constitute 12% of the sample. The results indicate that 9.5% of children and adolescents have disordered eating habits. The rate of children with ASD is in the range of 1.4 – 20.35/10,000. Other CESD observed among Omani children and adolescents include depressive symptoms (3% – 17%), bipolar mood disorder (1%), phobias (5.8% – 58%), school bullying (38.9% – 76%), adverse childhood experiences (0.6%), disorders of elimination (2%) and learning disorders (30%). As for psychosocial correlates, childhood CESD in Oman appears to also be influenced by the nature of the childcare-network system, including the creation of a feedback loop phenomenon of triggering poor mental health outcomes as well as adversely impacting the quality of life and psychosocial functioning among the caregivers. These psychosocial correlates ultimately result in suboptimal social and academic performance of the impacted children and adolescents, consequently impacting their general quality of life. Globally, 9 – 13% of child and adolescent age groups have serious CESD, some of which have also been reported in Oman. The magnitude of most types of CESD in Oman appears to generally fall within the range of international prevalence rates, with some outliers. It can be hypothesized that sociocultural factors influence the magnitude of CESD in Oman. As most of the reviewed studies were conducted using non-culturally sensitive measures, it is unclear whether the results might vary if the study instruments were equipped to decipher local idioms of distress. Therefore, future prospective studies employing more robust methodology are required in order to further examine potential rehabilitation and remedial factors for CESD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalChild Indicators Research
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
  • Cognitive
  • Covariates
  • Development
  • Emotional
  • Epidemiology
  • Globalization
  • Oman
  • Social
  • Society in transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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