Trauma and Resilience Among Deaf Individuals

J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2018 Oct 1;23(4):317-330. doi: 10.1093/deafed/eny024.


Resilience in the face of trauma is an important yet elusive construct in human development. While there are prevalent data suggesting high rates of trauma among deaf individuals, valuable insight on how resilience evolves among deaf individuals within the context of trauma has yet to be explored sufficiently. This study explored the concept of resilience through semi-structured interviews with a total of 19 experienced mental health providers. Using an applied thematic analysis approach, the following five themes were identified as crucial protective factors in resilience processes: individual assets, identity development, access to language and communication, access to information, and supportive networks. Findings both confirm previous findings about resilience as well as identify unique protective factors for deaf individuals with trauma. The discussion explores those protective factors and their role as resources for social services professionals and deaf individuals in efforts to support resilience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Persons With Hearing Impairments / psychology*
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Self Concept
  • Social Support