ORIGINAL ARTICLE
PARENTING A DEAF CHILD – HOW HEARING PARENTS COPE WITH THE STRESS OF HAVING DEAF CHILDREN
 
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Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, Warsaw/Kajetany, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Joanna Kobosko   

Joanna Kobosko, Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, Warsaw, Poland, e-mail: j.kobosko@ifps.org.pl
Publication date: 2020-04-20
 
J Hear Sci 2011;1(3):38–42
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Parents of deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) children experience greater parenting stress than parents of typically developing children. Studies of the stress experienced by these parents, and their methods of coping with it, give different results depending on the medical intervention used – cochlear implant or hearing aid – and in Poland such studies have not yet been done. This study addresses the ways by which parents handle the stress of adapting to their child’s deafness. It asks whether their styles of coping with stressful situations – task oriented, emotion oriented or avoidance – change after diagnosis is made. Another issue was whether medical intervention, e.g. cochlear implantation in prelingually deaf children, relates to a certain style of coping with stress, and whether the parents’ satisfaction with the decision to implant related to their behavior in stressful situations.

Material and Methods:
The research is based on a questionnaire containing demographic information about the parents (age, sex, education), their satisfaction with the decision on cochlear implantation, and information about the child. A Polish version of Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS) was used.

Results:
The results show that mothers and fathers of D/HH children differ in the intensity of their emotion-oriented and avoidance styles and that in stressful situations mothers use these styles significantly more often than fathers. Parents of D/HH children using cochlear implants do not differ from those using hearing aids in terms of stress coping styles.

Conclusions:
These insights offer practical suggestions of ways to psychologically help parents of deaf children, enabling them to cope better with their parenting a deaf child.

 
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