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131 9 Quality of Life of Latino Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals in the United States Poorna Kushalnagar Melissa Draganac-Hawk Donald L. Patrick Research on deaf and hard of hearing Latinos living in the United States shows that this population is rapidly growing and indicates disparities in education and health for this understudied group. The term Latino is the grassroots alternative to US government statistical data that use Hispanic as a racial/ethnic category and is used accordingly in this chapter. In 2010, about 16.3% of the general population was Latino, up from 12.5% in 2000 (US Census Bureau, 2004, 2011). According to the National Center for Children in Poverty (2011), nearly 65% of all Latino children live in low-income households (Addy, Engelhardt, & Skinner, 2013). From the standpoint of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model (1979), children’s development and perceived quality of life are influenced not only by the family system but also by the other important resources with which the child and family interact (e.g., schools, communities). Youth quality of life (YQoL) can be defined as adolescents’ sense of how their lives are going overall as well as their feelings about themselves, their relationships with others, and the opportunities and obstacles that arise in their social and cultural milieu (Edwards et al., 2002; Patrick et al., 2002). This concept can be applied to adolescents from diverse backgrounds regardless of their age, gender, culture, any physical disabilities, and socioeconomic status. Given the challenges faced by Latino children who are deaf or hard of hearing—growing up in a low-income family, navigating both native Spanish and mainstream English languages, as well as American Sign Language (Delgado, 2001)—the likelihood of a negative impact on their development and perceived ara86542_09_ch09.indd 131 ara86542_09_ch09.indd 131 12/10/15 6:56 PM 12/10/15 6:56 PM Poorna Kushalnagar, Melissa Draganac-Hawk, and Donald L. Patrick 132 quality of life increases. A child who is deaf or hard of hearing may try to accommodate the family’s primary communication system by learning to speech-read or lip-read Spanish; the family may resort to using home-based signs that they create for simple words or sentences. Communication in this manner tends to be restricted to topics essential to daily life and precludes discussion of more abstract or complex subjects, an accommodation of sorts that becomes problematic as the child gets older and expects greater access to information. Moreover, “barriers and obstacles such as communication, poverty, discrimination and low self-esteem are more often the crucial reasons for lack of perseverance” (Delgado, 2001, p. 16). Although one could surmise that these factors should be addressed in mental health services that are available and accessible to youths who are deaf or hard of hearing , little systematic information has been collected on the important components of perceived quality of life for these youth. Rarely have they been asked about their lifelong management of issues, both intrinsic and extrinsic, that are affected by their hearing loss. One can predict that when the language of deaf or hard of hearing youth is different from that used by their parents at home (such as Spanish), the result can be a negative impact on their perceived quality of life. The aim of the current qualitative study, conducted in 2008 and 2009, was to describe the factors that influence perceived quality of life from the perspective of the young people who are deaf or hard of hearing. This critical first step was undertaken in order to develop a conceptually appropriate measure of youth quality of life for these individuals (Patrick et al., 2011) that can be used in interventions or programs to promote healthy development in this cohort. By conducting qualitative interviews with deaf or hard of hearing Latino youths from Spanish-speaking homes, this study aimed to facilitate an understanding of the relationship between language differences at home, at school, and in the community and the perceived quality of life for this population. This information should help school administrators and staff to work more effectively with deaf and hard of hearing youths and their parents to improve and maintain a positive youth quality of life related to being deaf or hard of hearing and in general. METHOD Qualitative interviews were conducted to determine recurrent issues and generate items for a new measure of youth quality of life for young people who are deaf or hard of hearing (YQoL-DHH; Patrick et al., 2011...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781563686559
Related ISBN
9781563686542
MARC Record
OCLC
933515829
Pages
280
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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