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Family Resilience: the intergenerational Relationship between Hear Adult Children and Deaf Parents
deaf parents and hearing children
the three interview series
In the context of the deaf people society, it is common to see a household with members including hearing children and deaf parents; however, there is little empirical research involving the hearing children of deaf parents. The focus of this study is on the analysis of the growing experience and feeling of the hear children with deaf parents and their intergenerational relationship. As the result, we expect to provide more practical advice to this certain type of family organization and widen the vision of relative researches in the future. The three interview series method was conducted in this study. Four hear adult children were interviewed to explore their feelings, parent-child interaction experience, relationship with family members, and the impact on their intergenerational relationship with deaf parents as a grown-up based on their childhood interaction experience. The key findings of this study are listed as - (1) Although the hear young children did show signs of feeling lonelier due to not completely proficient in sign language to communicate with their deaf parents, this emotional gap could still be brought together by getting more attention and care from the deaf parents and other hearing elders (usually the grandparents)in the family and with better access to the social resources. (2) Lacking of common language that leads to the communication difficulty also existed between hearing grandparents and their offspring (aka the deaf parents).The intergenerational parenting style carrying through the family tended to be more loose and ignorant. Due to the linguistic barrier, deaf parents sometimes didn’t educate their hear children with precepts but through actual actions. The incomplete comprehensive communications between the deaf parents and hear children were also observed. (3) Three types of intergenerational relationship were identified between hear adult children and the deaf parents: “Intimate” - due to the emotional attachment and proficient in sign language developed over years; “Introverted”- emotions had been consistently repressed due to the traditional stereotype of gender; “Ambiguous”- due to the lack of interactions during the childhood. No matter which type was observed, the deaf parents all received housework and financial assistance from the hear adult children. (4) The hear adult children expanded their interaction with deaf parents to the intergenerational relationship through proactively improving sign language skills, acknowledging the deaf culture, and advancing mental development. These key elements would help them to accept their deaf family background and perhaps carry it to their own marriage. In conclusion, this study provides the suggestions on professional family education and social service and elaborates the prospect of this field.
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