Deaf Cultural Identification, Cochlear Implants, and Life Satisfaction
Keywords:Deaf culture, Cochlear Implants, Life Satisfaction, DIDS, acculturation
Cultural identification within the Deaf community is a new field of research that looks at the differences in acculturation between deaf individuals. Glickman (1993) created a Deaf Identity Development Theory, which outlines that deaf individuals either identify with the hearing community, the deaf community (immersion), both communities (bicultural), or do not necessarily identify with either (marginal). Research has not looked directly at the effects cochlear implants (CI’s) have on the overall life satisfaction and well-being of these individuals and how the implants may create changes to their cultural identification. This study examined the link between cochlear implants, Deaf cultural identification and overall life satisfaction within the Deaf community and hypothesises that individuals with cochlear implants and strong culture identification will show significantly higher levels of overall life satisfaction than those who do not. A sample of deaf individuals ages 18 and older were given three measures: the Deaf Identity Development Scale (DIDS), the Deaf Acculturation Scale (DAS) and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). The results found a significant correlation between life satisfaction and cultural identification, but no significant correlation between CI’s and life satisfaction or cultural identification.
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