Background: The development of a meaningful career for support staff working with children who have disabilities is part of a process of self-exploration and crystallization of identity. Such process is determined by several individual characteristics including spirituality and personal commitment. This study examined whether both constructs can predict levels of stress in disability support staff in Oman. Additionally this study examined how both constructs are perceived by support staff in relation to the stress related to serving and supporting children with disabilities in disability centers in Oman. Methods: A mixed method approach was used to collect quantitative and qualitative data. For quantitative data, a cross-sectional design involved administration of a short survey that examined spiritual experiences (DSE), personal commitment (PC), and stress in 142 female support staff from community disability centers in Oman. For qualitative data, focus group were conducted to interview a cohort of support staff who took a two-year specialized course in special education at a Public University in Oman. Results: Multiple regression analyses indicated that DSE and PG were modest predictors of support staff stress. Qualitative analysis showed participants’ belief in the importance of spirituality in their lives and its impact on the capability to manage work stress related to serving children with disabilities. The study findings are discussed in the light of related literature focusing on work stress of support staff.

Author(s): Mahmoud Emam & Suaad Al-Lawati

Journal: Disability and Health

Date: 2014

Volume: 18

Issue: 4

Pages: 340-360

DOI: 10.1080/23312521.2014.966439

Databased: Yes

Disabilities: General

Categories: Service systems