Personal obstacles to creativity were investigated by sampling 297 Arab women from four Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Obstacles to Personal Creativity Inventory, as self-report, was used. It assesses four types of obstacles (a) inhibition/shyness, (b) lack of time/opportunity, (c) social repression, and (d) lack of motivation. The results showed that the highest mean was reported for the lack of time/opportunities factor, followed in order by the three other factors: lack of motivation, inhibition/shyness, and social repression. (A high mean is indicative of more obstacles.) A multivariate analysis of variance indicated that reported obstacles to creativity significantly differed by field of study. Women in the arts reported experiencing fewer obstacles related to social repression in comparison with women in engineering, who showed the highest mean. No significant effects were observed for level of education, country and income in the GCC countries. The MANOVA also showed significant interactions between (a) education and sector (i.e., government vs private), (b) country and sector, (c) income and field of study, and finally (d) between field of study and sector. Results from this study were compared to two other studies, in Brazil and Mexico, that used the Obstacles to Personal Creativity Inventory. The high mean found for the lack of motivation in GCC countries deserves further investigation, given that motivation is so important for creativity and often is something that can be encouraged.
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