The Impact of Childhood Hearing Loss on the Family: Mothers' and Fathers' Stress and Coping Resources

J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2016 Jan;21(1):23-33. doi: 10.1093/deafed/env038. Epub 2015 Sep 11.


Parenting children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) presents unique long-term challenges that can place the parents at a greater risk for elevated levels of parenting stress. Adaptation of families to the various challenges presented by childhood hearing loss is influenced by their personal and social coping resources available for managing these stressors and challenges. The current study examined differences in parenting stress and personal (i.e., acceptance of the child who is D/HH and parents' sense of parenting self-efficacy) and social (i.e., formal and informal social support) coping resources between mothers and fathers of children who are D/HH in the Arab sector in Israel. Further, the study examined the relations between coping resources and parenting stress among these parents. Participants included 30 Israeli Arab mother-father couples (n = 60) having a child who is D/HH aged 3-8 years. Findings revealed no significant differences between mothers and fathers regarding parenting stress, child acceptance, or parental support systems. However, mothers reported significantly higher self-efficacy. In addition, correlation analysis indicated that higher coping resources decreased parenting stress levels. Theoretical and practical implications of parental gender in the context of cultural background are discussed regarding parent intervention programs.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Empirical Research
  • Fathers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires