Journal Article

Stress and Coping in Families with Deaf Children

Terri Feher-Prout

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 1, issue 3, pages 155-166
Published in print January 1996 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online January 1996 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.deafed.a014291
Stress and Coping in Families with Deaf Children

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More than 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents who experience stress, not only in response to the initial diagnosis, but also in adapting to the unique needs of their deaf child. This article is a selective literature review summarizing information from three fields in order to broaden our understanding of family adaptation to deafness. Discussion includes (1) psychology's model of individual stress and coping, (2) family science's model of family stress management, and (3) literature on family adjustment to disability. The last part of the article traces the development of professionals' understanding of the reciprocal influences between deaf children and their families and describes recent research indicating that the impact of deafness on families is complex and variable. The final conclusion is that adoption of a family stress and coping paradigm would inform discussion of current issues in deafness, such as cochlear implants and bilingualism/biculturalism.

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

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