Early intervention programmes and parenting deaf children: parental experiences of stress.
Brown, Rosemary Ann.
MetadataShow full item record
When confronted with a child recently diagnosed as deaf, parents can find themselves in a foreign and stressful situation. Parenting stress can have detrimental effects (e.g., socio-emotional problems) on the family and child. Early intervention programmes seek to equip parents for their parenting journey with their deaf child. This study sought to determine if participation in an early intervention programme, specifically HI HOPES, was associated with levels of parenting stress, perceived social support, and the perceived socio-emotional functioning of the child. Two groups of maternal caregivers were compared, one who had been through the HI HOPES intervention (n=35) and one who had not (n=23), using three different measures: Parental Stress Index, Social Support Questionnaire and Strengths-Difficulties Questionnaire. The results from the analyses indicate that participation in the HI HOPES early intervention programme seems unrelated to levels of parenting stress, perceived social support, and the child’s perceived socio-emotional functioning. These non-significant findings are discussed in relation to the theoretical foundations of the study and the contextual nature of the typical South African extended family structure. Although early intervention programmes are likely to be useful, it is possible that an extended family provides an important supportive and stress-relieving function for maternal caregivers of deaf children, which may negate the reported influence of an early intervention programme. In addition, the findings from the study are discussed in relation to certain methodological limitations (e.g., sample size, validity of questionnaire’s used, and data collection strategies)