Subject Area

Counseling, Psychology, Social Work


The current study explored variables that could contribute to the development of a secure or insecure attachment style of 15 deaf adults between the ages of 30 and 50 with hearing parents. There is a paucity of information on the relationship of deaf adults to their hearing parent and how that relationship may influence attachment. For the current study, quantitative methods were used to explore both childhood and adulthood variables, such as type of communication used with parents, type and level of schooling, and current attachment style. Variables also studied include age, gender, race, birth order, marital status, the hearing status of their significant other, and additional disabilities. Qualitative interviews were used to evaluate the life stories of each participant. Common themes from the stories were compared to the quantitative variables to discover the influences of attachment styles for these participants. The study found that understandable communication in any form, and support in the parent-child relationship are important for the development of a secure attachment style of a deaf adult with hearing parents. This is important information for teachers, counselors, social workers, and other professionals who work with deaf individuals and families.