Maternal Temperament and Deaf/Hard of Hearing Child Language Gain: The Relationship Between Maternal Sensitivity, Maternal Temperament, DHH Child Language Environment and DHH Child Language Development

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The Ohio State University

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There is vast variability in language outcomes for children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. Many of the reasons for this variability are known, but maternal temperament is a factor that has not been previously researched in relation to language development in children who are deaf/hard-of-hearing (DHH). The present study aimed to assess the relationship between various facets of maternal temperament and child language development. In addition, the present study investigated the effects that maternal temperament and maternal sensitivity had on the child's language environment. The effect that the child's language environment had on their language development was also explored. Results showed that maternal extraversion and orienting sensitivity had a positive correlation with DHH child sign language development. Maternal negative affect was shown to correlate negatively with child sign language. Maternal sensitivity negatively correlated with the number of vocalizations a DHH child made in their everyday language environment. The present study also indicated that adult speech in a child's language environment correlated negatively with their spoken language development. Implications of these findings are discussed.



maternal temperament, language development, deaf and hard of hearing, maternal interaction, maternal sensitivity