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Factors Associated with Help-Seeking and Self-Efficacy among a Sample of Deaf Adults

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Many individuals who experience psychological, interpersonal, and social distress do not seek help. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary language face additional barriers, such as communication inaccessibility, stigma, and prejudice, which can further impede help-seeking. The purpose of this study is to examine help-seeking behaviors and self-efficacy in relation to stressful life events and identity and discrimination factors among a sample of 149 deaf and hard of hearing. Results indicated that there was a low level of help-seeking among the sample despite moderate scores on self-efficacy, high scores on positive identity and discrimination factors, and low scores on adverse life experiences. Self-efficacy scores improved with stronger social networks. The interaction between parents’ communication method and social network mitigated stressful life events scores. Stressful life events and parents’ communication methods were significant predictors of help-seeking behavior. Practitioners can incorporate these findings into their practice assessments and treatment as well as outreach efforts and program implementation.

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Correspondence to Teresa V. Crowe.

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All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Gallaudet University.

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All participants were informed of the study purpose and procedures and consented to participate.

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Crowe, T.V. Factors Associated with Help-Seeking and Self-Efficacy among a Sample of Deaf Adults. J Dev Phys Disabil 33, 51–63 (2021).

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