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Early Social Emotional, Language and Academic Development in Children With Hearing Loss


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Early Social Emotional, Language and
Academic Development in Children With Hearing Loss

Purpose of the study

The study evaluates the relationship between the presence or absence of paternity
with the outcomes such as language, social-emotional and academics in deaf and
hard hearing children. From this relationship, the researchers argue that, the
deaf and hard hearing children who have the father figure have better language
and academic outcomes that those who don`t have a father figure. However, the
researchers of this study were inspired to study this phenomenon due to the
existence of research gaps on the variables that might influence child
outcomes. For example, the previous researchers suggested that, language,
social-emotional and economic outcomes in deaf and hard hearing children are
more enhanced by early interventional programs than by administering
intervention programs at an earlier age (Calderon & Low, 1998).


The participants of this study were 22 children who had prelingual, moderate
severity and profound sensor neural hearing loss, all with a pure-tone average
of more than or equal to 55 decibels. Additionally, all the 22 participants
were randomly selected from a list of children and families who had completed
the early childhood home instructor. In addition, all the participants were
born within a time interval of three years and had undergone early intervention
program from the early childhood home instruction. (ECHI) (Calderon & Low,
1998). Moreover, all the participants showed limited levels of hearing loss
that had ruthlessly affected the usable auditory speech discrimination, they
had normal gross intelligence and they possessed any other disability that would
prevent them from achieving fine and gross motor development milestones.

Consecutively, all the participants had normal hearing parents, came from English-speaking
backgrounds and none of them had older brothers or sisters who possessed
hearing disability at the onset of early intervention program. However, out of
the 22 participants, 17 of them had a father figure from the onset of the
interventional program and during their follow up while 5 of them lacked the
father figure during the same period. Moreover, during the assessment period,
the age of the fathers of the 17 children ranged from 27 to 46 years out of
which 64.7% of the fathers had attained one year college education while 23.5%
of them had spent four years of college education (Calderon & Low, 1998).

In addition, data for this study was collected through viewing videotaped
mother-child interactions, child assessment through interviewer-administered
measures, reviewing of ECHI archival records and teacher and parent
questionnaires. The ECHI archival records secured each child`s demographic
data, trainer-parent notes, evaluations for entry and exit of language and
communication, summary reports of terminologies and other audio-logical
evaluations. However, data was then organized into early intervention child
factors, early intervention family factors and early intervention program
factors (Calderon & Low, 1998).

Early intervention child factors

This section contained the children`s demographic information such as race, date of
birth, diagnosed hearing loss, place of family residence and the date that each
child started early intervention. However, this demographic information was
being derived from the ECHI records. Moreover, information about language
development was also being obtained for each child from the ECHI records. The
language development for each child had been obtained through assessing the
latter using the SKI-HI( Scale for Knowledge Inventory in Hearing Impairements)
 language development scale (Calderon
& Low, 1998).

Early intervention family factors

This part involved calculating the percentage number of visits that the parents had
visited their children during the early intervention program. This percentage
was obtained by dividing each parent`s number of visits by the number of early
intervention visits. The number of each parent`s visit was derived from the
narrative notes provided by the trainer. The trainer narrative notes contained
parent involvement rating scale that rated the parents’ involvement into five
distinctive categories (Calderon & Low, 1998). That is, category one
involved parents who were reluctant to participate minimally involved or
typically absent. Category two involved parents who were present but marginally
involved, category three contained those who were present and moderately
involved, category four containing participants who were not creative while
category five involved parents who were highly involved, creative and showing
high independence. Consecutively, family stress was then calculated with scoring
scale ranging from zero to six. The family stress was derived through adding
the number of major life events that occurred to each parent such as divorce,
hospitalization, migration, birth of a new child among others.

Early intervention program factors

This part involved calculating the duration of intervention that each child had
taken. This duration was derived by calculating the difference between the
dates that the child graduated from the early intervention program with the
date that the child entered the early intervention program. Moreover, the
intensity of services that each child received during the early intervention
program was derived through dividing the total number of intervention program
contacts with the duration that each child had taken in the intervention
program (Calderon & Low, 1998).

of the study

The study findings show that, there are no substantial differences that exist in
connection to the age at which each child started early intervention program,
loss of hearing, socio-economic background, program duration or intensity,
family stressors and the number of siblings that each child had. Moreover, the
children without a father figure were approximately one year older than those
with a father figure during the follow-up assessment period. In addition, the
tests to rule out whether the absence or the presence of a father figure
affects maternal perception during child development and maternal traits during
and after early intervention were not significant.

However, the study findings show that there is a significant difference on language
development between children with a father figure and those without at the time
of completion of the early intervention program. Those children with a father
figure showed more language development than those without a father figure.
Moreover, there are no significant differences that were noted in regard to
socio-economic status and the level of intelligent quotient. Additionally, the
score of the language proficiency profile of children with a father figure were
rated to be averagely equal to the average score of the older children without
a father figure. Apparently, there exist no significant difference between both
the teacher and parent rated language proficiency profile scores (Calderon
& Low, 1998).


It is, therefore, clearly evident that there existed a research gap in the earlier
research studies on determining the factors that would influence the language,
socio-emotional and communication outcomes in deaf and hard hearing children.
The study identified that, the presence or absence of a father figure
contributes greatly to the development of language in deaf and hard to hear
children. this conclusion of the study findings is seconded by comparing the
language proficiency profile scores of the children with a father figure with
those of the older children without a father figure. The average scores of
these two groups are equal and this clearly supports the impact of the absence
or the presence of a father figure in deaf and hard hearing children.


Calderon, R., & Low, S. (1998). Early social-emotional, language, and academic development in children with hearing loss: families with and without fathers.  American annuals of the deaf, 143(3). 225-234.