The National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) released the results of the first session of the Intergenerational Communication poll, which was conducted in partnership with the Social Observatory Research Program of the Scientific Research Council.
According to the survey, as much as 63% of Omanis expressed interest in passing on their customs and traditions to the next generation. About 30% expressed only an average degree of interest, and 7% showing very little or absolutely no interest in the same. The results also showed that males (69%) were most interested in passing on their customs and traditions to the next generation than females (56%). Although there was no significant difference in the degree of interest based on levels of education, the degree of interest increased significantly with age.
The poll revealed most Omanis (77%) were interested in acquainting their children with the Omani history, with males showing more interest (79%) than females (75%). The percentage increased among those with less education (78%) compared to holders of higher educational degrees (73%), and the percentage significantly increased with age.
In terms of the extent of interest in interaction with neighbors, the poll results showed that approximately one-fifth of Omanis (about 41%) were very keen on interacting with their neighbors for more than 30 minutes per week. This percentage is higher among males (43%) than females (39%). The percentage decreased among those with higher level of education, with 60% having education lower than a general diploma compared to only 33% with a higher qualification. The percentage also significantly decreases with age.
With regard to the rate of communication, which includes visiting, calling, or exchanging food etc, the poll results showed that approximately one-third of Omanis (about 31%) communicate with their neighbors on a daily basis, and 46% communicate with them between one and six times a week, compared to 3% who absolutely have no communication with neighbors.
Likewise, two-thirds of the surveyed Omanis mentioned they had attended social, religious or recreational events in the neighborhood during the month prior to conducting the poll, compared to 28% who did not attend any function in their neighborhood, and 6% who mentioned that there were no such events in the neighborhood during the past month.
Males (70%) were more interested in attending events and occasions than females (62%). The percentage increased significantly with those having higher levels of education, reaching 59% among those with an education lower than a general education diploma and 71% for those with a qualification above general diploma. The percentage also increased significantly with age, with those in the age group 50 years or more showing more interest (71%), compared to young people of the age group from 18-29 years (59%).
Regarding the impact of social media on families and the community, 42% of the surveyed Omanis believed that social media has a negative impact on families and the community in the present generation, compared to 44% who believed it has a positive impact, and 14% who believed that its impact was neutral.
The survey also discussed the rate of communication with parents (for those who do not reside with them in the same household), with the results showing that almost half of the surveyed Omanis (about 48%) communicated with their parents on a daily basis, 35% communicated with them between one and six times during the week, and 11% absolutely did not have any contact with their parents through phone. The average number of times of communication with parents by phone was about twice every three days, with the rates increasing slightly among females than males and among those having higher levels of education.
Likewise, more than two-thirds of Omanis (about 38%) visited their parents almost daily, 48% visited them between one and six times during the week, and 2% visited them less than once a month. In total, the average number of visits to parents is 3.9 times a week. This average number of visits to parents significantly increased among males than females.
As for communication with other relatives (other than parents), more than half of the surveyed Omanis ( about 55%) visited their relatives (other than parents) at least once a week, and 32% did so once or twice a month.
About 46% of the surveyed Omanis spend money on their parents or provide them with material aid regularly (monthly, weekly, etc.), and 18% do so only on certain occasions. In contrast, 10% of Omanis spend on relatives (other than parents) or provide them with financial aid on a regular basis (monthly, weekly, etc.), and 15% do this on certain occasions only.
The survey also dealt with the extent of communication between parents and children, with the results showing that Omani fathers spend an average 5.8 hours with their children at home during the days of the week, and the average rises to 6.8 hours during the holidays, while mothers spend more time with the children inside the house than the time spent by the fathers. The average number of hours spent by mothers with their children on weekdays is 6.6 hours, which rises to 7.1 hours during holidays.
The survey pointed out that Omani parents were more involved in activities related to their family or children. About 46% of parents had their children participate in activities inside the house, followed by 45% who reviewed lessons and educational materials for children, 29% who watched TV with them, 27% who played with them, and 24% who discussed religious matters with them.
About 88% of parents believed that spending more time with their children has a positive effect on their personality, 7% who believed it has a moderate effect, and 5% believed that it only has little or absolutely no impact on their children's personality.
As much as 84% of Omanis have meals with their family on a daily basis, compared to 2% who do so at least once or twice a month. In total, the average number of times a family joins together for meals is 6.3 times per week, with the average slightly higher among females than males (6.4 versus 5.1 times, respectively). There was no significant difference in the average based on the level of education or the age group of the surveyed sample.
The Intergenerational Communication poll also addressed a number of other topics, such as the external activities that Omanis generally perform, the activities that parents engage with their children outside the home and the time spent on each activity. It also addressed parents' opinions on the impact of nannies or domestic workers in raising children.