The time between “just going to work” and “being there”: fathers’ experiences parenting young children with hearing loss

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Margo Catharine Appenzeller (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Mary Compton

Abstract: This qualitative study examines the experiences and perceptions of fathers of young children with hearing loss. The investigation describes fathers’ experiences with the identification of hearing loss, diagnosis of hearing loss, receipt of early intervention services, and transition to as well as experiences within school services. Using phenomenological methods, a total of 18 interviews were conducted with six fathers of children with hearing loss. All participants were married middle class fathers of multiple children with at least one child who had hearing loss who utilized assistive listening technology to develop spoken language as their primary form of communication. The major research question that guided the research was how do fathers of young children with hearing loss experience fatherhood? Findings reveal that fathers of children with hearing loss utilize the role model of their own father as they conceptualize their own fatherhood identity. They seek to be fathers who are involved with their children in similar ways to those of their own fathers and to improve on their fathers’ involvement where possible. Fathers prioritize their involvement in their children’s lives and strive to be an active co-parent. Fathers desire to provide their children with hearing loss with opportunities to have a successful future. The fathers of children with hearing loss included in this study viewed the use of cochlear implants and hearing aids to access and develop spoken language as their children’s primary mode of communication as an opportunity for their children to have successful futures. Given their children’s perceived successful outcomes in communicating through spoken language, fathers depicted the concept of wellness -in-the -foreground perspective of their children, thus viewing them from a non-deficit perspective. Fathers reflected that their concept of disability had shifted over time to become less deficit based to that of highlighting individual accomplishments in meeting challenges posed by a disability.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Children, Deaf, Father, Parenting
Deaf children $x Family relationships
Parents of deaf children
Father and child
Parent and child

Email this document to