Forty-two hearing mothers of elementary school age deaf children who have additional handicapping conditions responded to a questionnaire we devised to measure cognitive, emotional, and behavioral attitudes toward sign language (ATSL). Their answers were correlated with measures of the child’s, mother’s, and family’s characteristics. The results showed that more positive ATSL were associated with higher socioeconomic status and with more realistic perceptions of the child’s condition. Mothers who perceived their child’s condition as more severe (regardless of its objective severity) but who were less pessimistic about the child’s future held better attitudes. Mothers who had a stronger sense of coherence expressed more positive cognitive attitudes. Mothers from families that were more generally expressive and active tended to hold more positive attitudes. These results support the notion that ATSL are related to the acceptance of the child’s hearing loss and its severity. Educational implications of the results are discussed.


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pp. 257-276
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