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Healthy Families of Children Who Are Deaf

The following study was conducted by the National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities. 

Research Questions:

a. What are the characteristics of healthy families of children who are deaf?
b. What are the challenges they have dealt with?
c. Have professionals helped the family? If so, how?
d. Have professionals hindered the family? If so, how?
e. What advice do they have for other families of deaf children?
f. What advice do they have for professionals?

Several different methods were employed for recruiting participants. First, a letter was sent to every teacher of students who are deaf or hard of hearing in the state of Colorado. The letter contained information including (a) the purpose of the study, (b) the definition of family, (c) the definition of a healthy family, and (d) a request for them to nominate any family who has a child who is deaf (Better Ear Average 75 dB or higher and who is in upper elementary school through high school) who meet the criteria. Second, a notice was placed in the newsletter of Hands & Voices. Third, a notice was placed in the Colorado Outreach Newsletter. We contacted nominated families, explained the purpose of the study, and asked them to participate. An attempt was made to have families of diverse ethnicity, different ages and from a variety of settings (urban, suburban, and rural) included in the study. It was anticipated that twenty to thirty families would be identified through the search.

Each family was interviewed. When more than one adult from the family was willing to participate in the interview, each person was interviewed either separately or together, whichever they prefered. They completed a demographic questionnaire and an in-person interview. All interviews were to be audio or videotaped. The interviews followed a semi-structured format. The interviews began with open-ended questions, and then moved to more specific questions. In addition, to increase our understanding of the characteristics of healthy families, each person who nominated a family was contacted and asked to discuss the specific reasons why the nominated that specific family.

The full article is available at:

Luckner, J., & Velaski, A. (2004). Healthy families with children who are deaf. American Annals of the Deaf, 149(4), 324-335.

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