Mom's sensitivity helps language development in children with hearing loss

March 8, 2013, University of Miami

University of Miami (UM) Psychologist Alexandra L. Quittner leads one of the largest, most nationally representative studies of the effects of parenting on very young, deaf children who have received cochlear implants. The findings indicate that mothers who are most sensitive in their interactions with their children receiving cochlear implants have kids that develop language faster, almost "catching up" to their hearing peers. The report is published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

"I was surprised that maternal sensitivity had such strong and consistent effects on oral language learning," says Quittner, director, Child Division in the Department of Psychology, at the UM College of Arts and Sciences. "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."

The goal of the study was to understand the role of parental behavior in language growth for deaf children. Maternal sensitivity was measured in videotaped interactions with the child and defined by warmth, as the degree to which a mother expressed positive regard and of the child.

Participants were 188 children with severe to profound loss of hearing, ages from five months to five years. In addition to analyzing the effects of maternal sensitivity, on , 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. with sensitive parents had only a 1 year delay in oral compared to. 2.5 years among those with less sensitive parents.

This cohort of deaf and hearing children has now been followed for approximately 8 years post-implantation; NIH has just funded the competitive renewal, allowing the researchers to follow them for another 5 years, into adolescence. The aims will focus on their cognitive and social development, as well as their academic achievement.

Explore further: Early exposure to language for deaf children

Related Stories

Early exposure to language for deaf children

June 5, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Most agree that the earlier you expose a child to a language, the easier it is for that child to pick it up. The same rules apply for deaf children.

Deaf sign language users pick up faster on body language

January 12, 2012
Deaf people who use sign language are quicker at recognizing and interpreting body language than hearing non-signers, according to new research from investigators at UC Davis and UC Irvine.

Recommended for you

Study: No evidence to support link between violent video games and behaviour

January 16, 2018
Researchers at the University of York have found no evidence to support the theory that video games make players more violent.

Study listens in on speech development in early childhood

January 15, 2018
If you've ever listened in on two toddlers at play, you might have wondered how much of their babbling might get lost in translation. A new study from the University of Toronto provides surprising insights into how much children ...

Study suggests people dislike you more for humblebragging than for regular boasting

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers from Harvard University and UNC-Chapel Hill has conducted a study regarding humblebragging—in which a person boasts about an achievement but tries to make it sound less boastful by minimizing it—and ...

Study identifies brain circuit controlling social behavior

January 11, 2018
A new study by researchers at Roche in Basel, Switzerland has identified a key brain region of the neural circuit that controls social behavior. Increasing the activity of this region, called the habenula, led to social problems ...

Can writing your 'to-do's' help you to doze? Study suggests jotting down tasks can speed the trip to dreamland

January 11, 2018
Writing a "to-do" list at bedtime may aid in falling asleep, according to a Baylor University study. Research compared sleep patterns of participants who took five minutes to write down upcoming duties versus participants ...

Tamper-resistant oxycodone tablets have no impact on overall opioid use

January 11, 2018
The introduction of tamper-resistant opioid tablets does not have an effect on rates of opioid use or harms at a population level, according to a new study led by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.