Eight profoundly deaf and six hard-of-hearing children participated in the study. The deaf children had hearing losses of 90dB or greater with a mean hearing loss of 98dB, and the hard-of-hearing children had losses ranging from 27db-85dB with a mean hearing loss of 65dB. All children had a bilateral loss in the speech range 500-2000 Hz (ISO). All of the children ranged in age from 11 years to 16 years 9 months (mean = 13 years) and ranged in IQ from 90-124 (mean = 107). The average language grade level of the hard-of-hearing children was 5.0, and their average reading grade level was 5.4. The average language grade level of the deaf children was 3.2, and their average reading grade level was 3.6.
All of the children were presented conservation of liquid and weight problems and 12 metaphor items. The results suggest that hearing loss does not affect the solution of either conservation or metaphor. Intelligence and age factors both affected conservation and metaphor performance; however, the ability to conserve appeared to be the best predictor of metaphor comprehension.