Date of Award:

5-2020

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Advisor/Chair:

Karen F. Muñoz

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Trenton J. Landon

Third Advisor:

Michael P. Twohig

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe the decision-making process parents experience when prioritizing hearing care while caring for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing with Down Syndrome. To achieve this, parents of children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing with Down Syndrome were recruited, and in-depth interviews were conducted to develop a grounded theory that may explain the decision-making process for how parents prioritize effective hearing care and management. The resulting theory indicated that the higher the extent of professional engagement, parent perception of benefit, parent activation, and engagement of family support, the higher the priority for hearing care and management will be.

The results of this study may inform audiologists and other professionals interacting with this sub-population of parents and children regarding how parent needs and challenges may extend beyond those present when children are deaf or hard-of-hearing alone. This may, in turn, inform how person-centered care is delivered to meet these needs.

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