QUESTION 2: How do deaf children learn as compared to hearing children in the area of socialization?

Primary Infant Relationships: Marschark, (1993)

  1. The primary relationship between infant and caregiver (usually infant/mother) is essential in setting the ground work for positive social interactions for the future.
  2. Infants and caregivers develop bonds through different audiological and tactile behaviors.
  3. Hearing infants respond to audiological stimuli and access adult intervention primarily through vocalization.
  4. Deaf infants respond to tactile and visual stimuli and use gesturing to access adult intervention.
  5. Hearing parents of deaf children need to create bond by using gestures, visual and tactile stimulation.
  6. The absence of the vocal-auditory link to bonding in deaf infants and their caregivers may have a direct effect on infant behavior and emtional well being.
  7. Hearing parents may also experience difficulty bonding due to inability to culturally relate to deaf infant. (Lane, Hoffmeister, Bahan,1996)
Peer Interactions: Marschark, (1993)
  1. Strong primary relationship between child and parent leads to stong self identity and more appropriate peer interactions.
  2. Social modeling from parents is needed to increase child’s autonomy and experience positive peer interactions.
  3. Deaf children with hearing parents have poor peer interactions if the primary bond is insufficient due to the fact that the child can not relate to their social role models (hearing parents).
  4. Support from parents on social issues increases the child’s social independence and increases socialization with peers and motivation to socialize.
  5. Hearing parents of deaf children may not provide opportunity for socialization due to cultural stigmas and incomplete bonding issues.
  6. Deaf parent identify with their children, provide appropriate modeling in relating with other deaf individuals and encourage autonomy within their children. (Lane et al., 1996)
  7. Deaf parents have difficulty assimilating to hearing culture and have difficulty providing social modeling in adjusting to hearing culture. (Lane, et al., 1996)


Lane, H., Hoffmeister, R., & Bahan B. (1996). A journey into the deaf-world. San

Diego: Dawn Sign Press.

Marschark, M. (1993). Psychologal development of deaf children. New York:

Oxford University Press.


  1. Individuals need to educate hearing parents that they need to bond with their children in order to provide socialization skills for their deaf children.

  2. Teachers need to understand that withdrawn or socially immature deaf children are created by their environment and they can suppliment socialization through communication.

  3. Need to develop support groups and educational programs to assist hearing parents with their bonding strategies and to help deaf parents learn to work between the two cultures.

  4. Educators and psychologists may be able to create social interaction groups for deaf and hearing children to teach those skills that were not provided in earlier development.

  5. Educators need to be aware of the weak identity that many deaf children experience and to work with parents to build better esteem by providing them with support.

  6. Professionals need to approach socialization as part of the learning experience for deaf children and must be provided with opportunities to practice skills and cultivate new skills within the deaf and hearing cultures.

  7. Outreach programs need to be incorporated with hearing families of deaf children to prevent serious psychological problems for the child and the child’s parents.


Ainsworth, M. D. (1973). The development of infant-mother attachment. In B. M. Caldwell & H.N. Ricciuti (Eds.) , Review of child development research (pp. 1-94). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Aslin, R. N., Pisoni, D. P., & Jusczyk, P.W. (1983). Auditory development and speech perception in infancy, In P. H. Mussen (Ed.) , Handbook of child psychology, Vol. 2. New York: Academic Press.