Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Lois Bosch

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura Boisen

Third Advisor

Marian Hausladen


The purpose of this study was to analyze the responses from high school students who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing regarding self-esteem, and communication methods used in the family. The quantitative design examines how the parents' communication methods affect the Deaf child's level of self-esteem. Several studies have reported there is a relationship between the family's communication method and the deaf child's level of self-esteem. Parents whose sign language skills were more proficient had children whose self-esteem scores were higher than those of parents who were less skilled in sign language. Also, parents have an important role to play in preparing their children not only to adapt to the mainstream culture but also to fit into the Deaf culture and to move back and forth between the two cultures. Due to the small number of participants, the findings of this study indicating a deaf adolescent's self-esteem may be influenced by the parents' communication method were not significant. The implications for social work practice are parents' communication methods have some level of impact on the deaf child's self-esteem and parents are influential in shaping their deaf child's self-esteem.


SC 11.MSW.1999.Bloom.LM