Psychosocial Functioning in Toddlers with Moderate Hearing Loss: The Importance of Caregivers
- 31 October 2018
- Academy Building
2311 GJ Leiden
For decades children with moderate hearing loss (MHL) were “forgotten children”. Most research focused on deaf children and the needs of children with MHL were underestimated. Children with MHL have inconsistent access to linguistic input and social-emotional experiences and that places them at risk for developmental difficulties. In the present thesis the psychosocial functioning of toddlers with moderate hearing loss was examined within the context of the caregiving environment. No risk factors were found in the parent-child affective domain: Toddlers with MHL were affected by the emotions of others, they were affectively available to their parents and their parents to them, and their parents did not feel more parental stress than parents of toddlers without hearing loss. Challenges were found in the domain of meaningful social interactions: Toddlers with MHL had more difficulties in understanding the intentions of others and exchanged fewer social-communicative signals. The episodes of joint engagement during parent-child interactions were briefer and parents used less rich language during these interactions than parents of toddlers without hearing loss. To overcome these challenges parents could read storybooks with their children. An interactive reading programme for parents of toddlers with hearing loss showed to be effective in increasing joint engagement.
- Prof. C. Rieffe
- Prof. J.H.M. Frijns
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Maarten Muns, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
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