Family support needs as perceived by parents of preadolescents and adolescents who are deaf or hard of hearing

Janet R. Jamieson, Anat Zaidman-Zait, Brenda Poon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little has been documented about the needs for information, guidance, and support of parents of school-age children with hearing loss, particularly those whose children are about to enter or are in the often turbulent stage of adolescence. The purpose of this study was to provide new knowledge about the specific needs of parents of adolescents and preadolescents who have a wide range of hearing losses. Participants were parents whose children were registered with the audiology clinic of one health unit in the province of British Columbia, Canada. In the first stage, parents were asked to complete questionnaires concerning background information and family support needs. Because of the developmental stage that was the focus of the study, only surveys pertaining to children aged 10-18 years (N = 38) were considered. In the second stage, survey respondents were asked to join one of two focus groups (N = 7 and 8 parents, respectively) to further explore issues raised in the survey findings. The overall findings from the focus groups, supported by the survey findings, are that parents of school-aged children with a range of hearing losses continue to have pressing concerns regarding various aspects of raising children - particularly adolescents. There are four predominant findings: (1) parents' needs for various types of information, including information about their child's development (e.g., cognitive and social-emotional aspects); (2) parents' continuing need for a family-centred approach to service provision, beyond early intervention; (3) parents' concerns about education and future opportunities for their children; and (4) concerns regarding parenting deaf or hard-of-hearing children with additional needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-130
Number of pages21
JournalDeafness and Education International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Deaf and hard of hearing
  • Family centred
  • Family support
  • Parents


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