Social support for parents of deaf children: Moving toward contextualized understanding

Brenda T. Poon*, Anat Zaidman-Zait

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In light of claims that social support needs to be defined within specific context, we conducted a metasynthesis to identify ways that social support has been studied and contextualized in research focused on hearing parents of children with hearing loss. A literature search of published articles was conducted to identify research studies related to support and hearing parents of children with hearing loss. Our search yielded 108 items from Psycinfo and 154 items from Web of Science; 26 studies met our inclusion criteria. Our analyses involved summary and integration of information regarding research methods, guiding theoretical frameworks, and findings in relation to diverse support contexts. We found that it is the multidimensionality of social support and its specific functions, individually and in combination, that are particularly relevant in informing family-centered service provision. Further understanding of the multidimensional and dynamic nature of support could occur through investigation of diverse functions of support within and across ecological contexts. Findings from this study contributed to a descriptive framework that can be used to explore the multidimensionality of support; facilitate use of methods that assess specific support functions; and also inform the development of interventions that are responsive and match the needs of parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-188
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


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