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First large-scale Irish study on deaf and hard of hearing children’s social and emotional development
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First large-scale Irish study on deaf and hard of hearing children’s social and emotional development

A research team led by Dr. Elizabeth Mathews in the School of Inclusive and Special Education in DCU is embarking on a national study examining the social and emotional development of deaf and hard of hearing children in the Republic of Ireland.  This study is being part-funded by Chime: the National Charity for Deafness and Hearing Loss. It will be the first large scale examination of this topic in Ireland.  Much of the international evidence shows that deaf and hard of hearing children can experience more social and emotional difficulties compared with their hearing peers, but we do not know if this is the case in Ireland or not.  

The team will examine this by asking parents to complete a questionnaire that includes a number of scales examining their child’s strengths and difficulties.  These scales are widely used in research so the results of the Irish study can be compared with other studies carried out with hearing children in Ireland and other studies carried out with deaf and hard of hearing children internationally.  Parents also have the option to agree to have their child’s teacher fill out a similar questionnaire.

The team is now recruiting parents to take part in this study.  Parents of all deaf and hard of hearing children aged between 4 and 17 are invited to fill in the study questionnaire and they would like parents of children from both primary and secondary school, mainstream and deaf school to take part.  The team also wishes to include children who have needs other than deafness.

Dr. Mathews said:

“It’s so important for us to have data that represents a broad range of deaf and hard of hearing children in this study so we can learn about their strengths and difficulties in this area.  Knowing more about this allows us to plan and respond better to meet the needs of this group”

The results of the study are expected to be published late 2021.

Full information about the study and the questionnaire is available here.

Dr. Mathews can be contacted at elizabeth.mathews@dcu.ie