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Hearing Parents Appraisals of Parenting a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Child: Application of a Positive Psychology Framework
post Sat Jun 11, 2016, 02:56 AM
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Hearing parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children face unique challenges and stressors, the understanding of which has been the focus of numerous studies; yet, relatively little is known about their positive experiences. Using a qualitative purposive sampling design, interviews were conducted with 11 hearing parents (8 mothers, 3 fathers) exploring parents’ positive appraisals of their experiences in raising a child who is deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH). Interviews were transcribed and a thematic analysis was conducted, which allowed the researchers to identify themes and patterns in the parents’ appraisals. Nine key themes emerged, which characterized parents’ positive perceptions of raising a child who is D/HH: knowing the child, appreciating everyday positives, increasing involvement with the child, relishing the highs, taking less for granted, letting go, learning, advocating, and experiencing personal growth. A positive psychology framework was employed to foster understanding of the interview findings and their implications. When asked about the positive aspects of raising a D/HH child, hearing parents were readily able to identify ways in which their parenting experience had been enhanced and their lives improved as a result of their unique situations. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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