Mothers’ and fathers’ involvement in intervention programs for deaf and hard of hearing children

Anat Zaidman-Zait*, Tova Most, Ricardo Tarrasch, Eliana Haddad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Parental involvement in the rehabilitation process of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children is considered vital to children's progress. Today, fathers are more likely to be involved in their children’s care. Nevertheless, father involvement has been understudied and relatively little is known about their involvement in families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. In addition, there are scant data on the correlates of parents’ involvement. This study explored similarities and differences in parental involvement between mothers and fathers in intervention programs for their D/HH children and tested a set of personal and social contextual variables that posited to affect parental involvement in a unique socio-cultural group. Methods: Thirty Israeli-Arab couples (mothers and fathers) of young D/HH children took part. Each parent completed four self-report measures of parental involvement, parenting stress, parental self-efficacy, and social support. Results: Mothers were significantly more involved than fathers in their child's intervention. Specifically, they report on higher interest and attendance and overall being more actively engaged with professionals in the child’s intervention. Both mothers and fathers had a rather passive style of involvement in their child's intervention. Parental self-efficacy and informal and formal social support were associated with father involvement. For mothers, only formal social support was associated with involvement. Conclusion: For the Israeli-Arab population, the findings underscore the differences between mothers’ and fathers’ multiple dimensions of involvement in the intervention program of their D/HH children and their predictors. The results suggest important avenues for prevention and intervention activities when working with families of children who are D/HH. Implications for rehabilitation Parental involvement in intervention programs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) is vital to children's progress and an essential component of implementing family-centered service provision. Understanding of both mothers and fathers multiple dimensions of involvement and the factors that facilitate or hinder their parental involvement in their children’s intervention programs, will equip professionals to better support parents of D/HH children aligned with the principles of family centered care service delivery. Mothers and fathers style of involvement reflects on gaps between the goals of family centered care and their implementation in the realities of everyday practice. The experiences and behaviors of mothers and fathers should not be seen as interchangeable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1301-1309
Number of pages9
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number11
StatePublished - 22 May 2018


  • Parental involvement
  • deaf and hard of hearing children
  • fathers and mothers
  • intervention
  • self-efficacy
  • social support


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