Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 486–499 | Cite as

Exploring Correlates and Predictors of Stress in Parents of Children Who are Deaf: Implications of Perceived Social Support and Mode of Communication

  • Kia K. ÅsbergEmail author
  • Jennifer J. Vogel
  • Clint A. Bowers
Original Research


Parenting stress has been linked to negative outcomes for both parents and children, including poor attachment, behavior problems, less positive parent–child interactions, and marital dissatisfaction. Given that parents of special needs children often experience excess stress, they may be susceptible to negative outcomes, thus investigations of protective factors are needed. We explored relationships among parenting stress, social support, mode of communication, and child cochlear implant status in parents rearing a deaf child or child with hearing loss. Findings of our exploratory study indicated that parents of children who use sign language only reported more support, while parents of children who use total communication exhibited less self-reported stress. Also, parents with children who use implants did not differ on any of the measures compared to parents of children without implants. Additional findings suggested that higher levels of perceived social support corresponded with lower stress among parents, however, receipt of supportive behaviors did not correlate significantly with parenting stress. In an overall model, perceived social support and mode of communication were significant predictors of parenting stress. Finally, enacted support predicted significantly life satisfaction in parents. Implications and limitations, as well as suggestions for future research, will also be offered.


Parenting stress Deaf children Social support Communication Life satisfaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kia K. Åsberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jennifer J. Vogel
    • 1
  • Clint A. Bowers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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