Date of Conferral
Childhood disability increases parental stress. Research on the laterality of childhood hearing loss or presence of a cochlear implant(s) as it relates to stress in hearing parents was limited before this study. The purpose of this quantitative study was to identify relationships between the independent variables of laterality (unilateral and bilateral) of a childhood hearing loss or presence of a cochlear implant(s) and the dependent variable of stress in hearing parents. Family systems theory provided a framework for viewing each member of the family as a part of a whole, whose life events, feelings, and actions affect all of the members of the family. For this study, hearing parents of children with a hearing loss living and receiving services in the state of South Carolina rated their personal stress levels by completing an anonymous Likert-scale questionnaire. Data were collected from 151 participants via an online hosting site and analyzed using factor analysis, descriptive statistics, and ANOVA procedures. Hearing parents of children with a cochlear implant(s) (n = 37) scored the highest on all measures of stress except those measuring communication stress. Hearing parents of children with a bilateral hearing loss (n = 56) scored highest on communication stress. Hearing parents of children with a unilateral hearing loss (n = 58) scored lowest on all measures. One of the largest contributing factors to parental stress was the differing opinions educators and medical providers. The findings of this study contribute to positive social change by providing insight into how a childhood hearing loss influences stress in hearing parents. This information may help educators, service providers, and families provide better resources to the family system.
Macker, Julie, "Childhood Hearing Loss and its Stress on Hearing Families" (2015). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 1413.