Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counseling and Personnel

First Advisor

Dr. Thelma Urbick

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Brashear

Third Advisor

Dr. Dennis Simpson


The Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare and the Deputy Ministry of Social Security provide a spectrum of social service programs and activities. However, utilization of the designated services is incapacitated by the existing gap between the potential clients and the social service providers. Certain barriers have contributed significantly to the clients' underutilization behavior of the assigned services.

Accordingly, this study had two purposes: (a) to determine whether social services provided by the Deputy Ministries of Social Welfare and Social Security are perceived by administrators, social workers, and college students to be underutilized; and (b) to compare the perceptions of the three groups regarding physical proximity of services, public and clients' cultural variations, mass communication media and information dissemination of designated services, and bureaucratic issues as determinant factors in the social service utilization process.

A total of 16 hypotheses were formulated under the four determinant factors. Those hypotheses were extrapolated for testing purposes at the .05 level of significance.

The population of this study (184 respondents) was comprised of 38 administrators, 59 social workers from the Deputy Ministries of Social Welfare and Social Security, and 87 college students of social work departments from the Universities of King Saud and Immam Muhammed.

A 24-item questionnaire was employed to obtain the subjects' responses. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data collected. One-way and two-way analysis of variance were utilized to test the designed hypotheses.

The results showed that 148 (80.9%) of the respondents were in general agreement that the social service programs are underutilized. Thirteen hypotheses were retained and three were rejected. According to the mean ratings, the determinant of mass communication media and information dissemination was perceived by the respondents as the single most important contributing factor in the social service underutilization process.

However, by and large, the four determinant factors have contributed significantly to the clients' underutilization behavior. Thus, an urgent action must be undertaken by the social service agencies to assess, improve, or modify some of the current conditions in order for the prospective and eligible individuals to utilize the designated social services and programs.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access