Journal Article

Attachment Representations of Deaf Adults

Cathy Chovaz McKinnon, Greg Moran and David Pederson

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 9, issue 4, pages 366-386
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI:
Attachment Representations of Deaf Adults

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  • Education
  • Linguistics
  • Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs


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The primary goal of this study was to examine the feasibility of using the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) with 50 culturally Deaf adults. Modifications to the standard protocol included using a visual-spatial language (American Sign Language) rather than a spoken language (English), as well as coding and procedural variations from the standardized protocol. Results suggested that the adapted AAI interview and coding processes provided an effective assessment of the state of mind regarding the attachment of Deaf individuals. The expectation that Deaf participants would be less coherent in their AAI transcripts and therefore less likely than hearing individuals to be classified as Autonomous was not supported. The distribution of the classifications of this Deaf sample was not different from existing normative distributions. Moreover, there was no evidence that early separation from parents associated with attendance at a residential school for the Deaf resulted in attachment formations with residential counselors or teachers at the school.

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Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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