Thesis

Deaf discrimination, deaf identity, family factors, and depressive symptoms of deaf emerging adults

The purpose of this study was to add to the body of knowledge on deaf discrimination, deaf identify, parental support, parental intrusiveness, and depressive symptoms in deaf or hard-of-hearing emerging adults. Self-report survey data were collected from 48 deaf and hard-of-hearing young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 years. The findings indicated: (1) perceived deaf discrimination was significantly and positively related to depression, (2) deaf identity was not significantly related to depressive symptoms and did not moderate the relationship between deaf discrimination and depressive symptoms, (3) parental support was significantly and negatively related to depressive symptoms and buffered the effect of deaf discrimination on depressive symptoms, and (4) parental intrusiveness was significantly and positively related to depressive symptoms and exacerbated the effect of deaf discrimination on depressive symptoms. Implications of the findings are that mental health practitioners should teaching coping strategies to manage negative feelings that arise from discrimination and parental intrusiveness. Also, family life educators should encourage parental support while discouraging parental intrusiveness.

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