Moms’ Sensitivity Helps Language Development in Children with Hearing Loss
From University of Miami 3/26/2013
Children with cochlear implants who receive positive and emotional support from their mothers develop language skills at a faster rate, almost "catching up" to children with normal hearing, according to a study by a University of Miami psychologist.
“I was surprised that maternal sensitivity had such strong and consistent effects on oral language learning,” said Alexandra L. Quittner, lead investigator of the study and director of the Child Division in the Department of Psychology in UM's College of Arts and Sciences. The results of study, one of the largest and most representative on the effects of parenting on young deaf children who wear cochlear implants, are published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
“The findings indicate that pediatric cochlear implant programs should offer parent training that facilitates a more positive parent-child relationship and fosters the child's development of autonomy and positive regard,” Quittner said.
Her study investigated the role of parental behavior in language growth for deaf children. Maternal sensitivity was measured in videotaped interactions with the child and defined as the degree to which a mother expressed positive regard and emotional support of the child.
The study included 188 children, ages five months to 5 years of age, with severe to profound hearing loss. In addition to analyzing the effects of maternal sensitivity on language development, the study also looks at the impact of cognitive and language stimulation. Parent-child interactions observed and coded included free play, puzzle solving, and an art gallery task with five posters mounted at different heights on the walls of the playroom.
The largest improvements in language development were observed in children whose parents displayed high sensitivity; Language stimulation was also an important predictor of language gains but was most effective when delivered in a sensitive manner. Deaf children with sensitive parents had only a 1 year delay in oral language compared to. 2.5 years among those with less sensitive parents.
Read the rest of the story at: http://www.miami.edu/index.php/news/releases/moms_sensitivity_helps_language_development_in_children_with_hearing_loss/
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